Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tra la laaaa!

OK, so I started off my summer holiday by going to the cinema with my son to see this film... and it's excellent...
Very inventive plotting and animation and I've got just one question #whomadeyourclothes
#followthethings

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Global reach of Premier League football teams

A Twitter interactive which promises to visualise the tweets which are sent by fans of different Premier League football teams (as they were when the visualisation was created). How global is your team, or compare two teams, or see which are the most popular. Change the scale and have a play. Useful for globalisation, or geography of sport type units. Made by Twitter.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Happy 30th Birthday to ERASMUS

Erasmus is 30 years old.

It's facilitated the meeting of millions of teachers and students from across Europe, and I've benefitted from it in many ways over the years. I first got involved with Erasmus through Karl Donert, the President of EuroGeo, and who has spent many years travelling Europe.
He asked me to take part in a project called digitalearth towards the end of my time with the Geographical Association. He was keen to get the GA to engage with this European network of teachers, and there was the first of a few opportunities to do that with this network. The digitalearth project has had a great legacy...

This took me to Salzburg, back in January 2011, for the first of many meetings and training courses. I found myself in a 3 day meeting with university professors, Headteachers and people with particular skillsets I'd not encountered before. It was a little scary, but also exciting, and we had some interesting cultural events as part of the meeting - a pattern that has been particularly important as my Erasmus participation has continued...


Image: Michaela Lindner-Fally

I've spent several months of my life since in various cities around Europe. I've worked at Salzburg University quite a few times, running courses with teachers from lots of different countries, learning from them as much as they learned from me.



Here's a picture from Simo Tolvanen, one of a large group of Finnish teachers I had the pleasure of working with at Z-GIS in Salzburg.
I've visited Stockholm - sailing there on a boat through the frozen Baltic and stopping in at Estonia en route. I've scaled snowy peaks, eaten fine foods, seen art and heard guggenmusic, baked in the heat of an Alentejan summer, swum in the Mediterranean, walked on a frozen lake, wandered unfamiliar cities in the early hours of the morning, and discovered a hidden bottle of Ardbeg whisky in the most unlikely of hotels. I've seen Romanian tower blocks, sung Finnish karaoke, navigated out of an underground car park in Ghent, and seen the Acropolis at sunset and two Olympics stadia...
I've been involved in 5 Erasmus Funded projects and a range of Erasmus funded courses... and several other failed bids for project funding...
I hope to be involved in a whole lot more adventures in the future....
My school is currently involved in an ERASMUS funded project called GI Learner 

I recommend you find out more about the scheme and try and get involved.. assuming UK partners will still be welcome after Brexit... 


In the upstairs room at Zum Eulenspiegel, Salzburg 

800th post

Just noticed this is the 800th post on this blog...
I've shared a whole range of cultural geography type stuff over the years. It's my take on that idea, which is quite broad. I hope you enjoy reading the ideas, and they've been helpful or interesting in some way.. I'll carry on the blog for a while yet I hope...

My latest reading is Brian Merchant's book on the development of the iPhone: the most successful consumer product of all time, and one which has become part of our daily life, and through which many access their culture, and determine their 'geography'...


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Teachmeet GeographyIcons

There has been a History edition of this event for a few years, and the Geographers have now decided that it may be a good format to adopt... Save the date, and follow the Twitter feed and hashtag for more information as time passes... Will be hosted at the University of Birmingham.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ice Flows Game - my current project

I've spent quite a bit of time over the last week or so working on a new resource to accompany the IceFlows Game which was developed by Anne Le Brocq of Exeter University.

Follow the Twitter feed @iceflowsgame to find out more...

The game is available online, and also as an app.

It is taking shape now, and should be completed by the end of the month and available for download.

The game models the processes going on in ice shelves and ice sheets, and there are plenty of associated resources that will form part of the pack, to help explore the implications of them melting away. With Larsen C close to breaking off to form a huge iceberg, this is an area that is likely to make the news in the coming days....

Why not take a look at the game in the next few weeks as an end of term activity

Update
Larsen C finally calved a huge iceberg yesterday, just as I was finishing the first draft of the resource pack.
There is a tool to measure just how big it actually is by comparing it to a map. Made by Christopher Möller, and can be viewed here. 
Here's the iceberg with Norfolk and Suffolk for scale - that's a big chunk of ice...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Meaningful Maps - exploring children's mapping

After the publication of the paper on VR in Education that I blogged about recently, there's a further project that we're involved with. In the last few weeks, students from several year groups have been involved with the Meaningful Maps project by drawing a map of a place that is important to them. These have been completed by some of my colleagues at Kings Ely Junior, and also King's Ely Acremont (thanks to Sarah Stevens for a big pile of maps)

The project is being organised by Stephen Scoffham, Peter Vujakovic and Paula Owens.
The website is now up and running, and it will develop as more maps come in during the pilot phase of the project which we are involved with.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer listening

The second album, out today, is by Public Service Broadcasting. It's a concept album (as all their albums are), and this time the focus is on the coal mining industry, particularly the Welsh one. It was recorded in the valleys, and there are several guests from Wales on the album. This is a very stylish production, with a real sensibility and sensitivity. The album notes explain decisions that were made about what to include, and what to leave out... Aberfan is respectfully left out, but noted in a list of colliery disasters which form part of the CD booklet, along with graphs of coal production. Social history is included in the form of extracts from publicity and recruitment films which talked of hundreds of years worth of coal left to mine... The mood darkens on 'All Out', and there is a wonderful romantic 'You+Me' before the album closes with the Beaufort Male Choir. A portion of the profits from sales will go to the South Wales Area Miners' Benevolent Fund.

You can stream it in the usual places or buy it from the usual places. There's a review here which gives you a real flavour of the strengths of the album. Superb music and landscape mingling....

Summer listening 2....

A couple of music posts coming up...

The first is this album, which is out soon, and has an awesome cover. It's a bit like early Fairport, psychedelia, folk-rock and wonderfully atmospheric... Check it out on early streaming (which won't be around forever if you're reading this blog post after early July 2017)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Blast from the past...

Not played this album for years... Bob Mould's dancy phase... Tag it, and make it yours...

Islands: a Radio 4 season

A series of programmes which are being played in a series on Island life. This is available to listen to again for a month or so, so if you're reading this after Summer 2017 you may not be able to hear some or all of them.
Thanks to the wonderful artist Ellis O' Connor for the tipoff to this on Twitter.
If you're interested in the idea of islands, then these will be well worth following. A list of some of the programmes is here.
I'm particularly interested in the sharing of some stories by George Mackay Brown, who is forever connected with the town of Stromness on Orkney.
Some will also be interested in a repeat of Bill Bryson's 'Notes from a Small Island', which is available in five episodes.

This connects with the work I am going to be doing over the summer with Peter Knight, funded by an Innovative Geography Teaching Grant. You will see our work on this developing on this website.

Image: Copyright BBC - used to publicise the Islands season - reminiscent of Roger Dean's Yes album covers...

Japanese Tsunami: and its ghosts...

This is coming in August. It looks really rather splendid, although the extract is harrowing and terrifying...
Read the extract from the London Review of Books.

There's also a programme on BBC Radio 4 that is well worth watching.


Around the World in 80 Days

A few days ago, Mark Beaumont visited the Reform Club. He was paying homage to Phileas Fogg: the hero of Jules Verne's 'Around the World in 80 Days'.
The reason was that after his earlier record breaking circumnavigation by bike, Mark headed off earlier today on an attempt to go around the world in 80 days.


I will be introducing the journey to our students tomorrow, so that they can hopefully follow the journey over the summer, and there will be some rewards for those who show some evidence of this on their return in September, by which time Mark will hopefully be well on his way... what an epic journey and physical and mental effort lies ahead of him...

To follow the journey, see Mark Beaumont on Facebook, or follow @MrMarkBeaumont on Twitter.

The main website for the journey is at Artemis World Cycle.
Here's the route:
Images: Copyright Mark Beaumont on Facebook/Twitter / The Guardian

For teachers wanting to introduce students to the journey, Mark has teamed up with Twinkl Resources, who have created a series of resources. These are a mixture of FREE and subscriber only, and are attractively presented and linked to some useful curriculum areas.

Mark is raising money for Orkid Studio.


Orkidstudio works to benefit communities through innovative architecture, construction and social enterprise.

We believe that creativity has the power to inspire and instil pride within people regardless of race, nationality or circumstance and we use architecture, design and enterprise as tools for relieving poverty and transforming lives.

Our build projects focus on the process of design and construction rather than just the final product. We believe this process is a powerful tool for affecting social change and empowering people through the sharing of skills and knowledge on site.

With a strong belief in the power of enterprise to affect social change, we work on projects and with partners that support and drive the local economy. We engage local resources and women in construction to create high quality built spaces that promote health, education and equality.

Mark's hoping to raise £10 for every mile that he cycles.