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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Squatter settlements are great...

Categories: Urban, Development and Health
I wonder what people think of this talk. It should challenge quite a bit of what is in the textbooks about squatter settlements (click on the picture to go to the link)

Monday, December 17, 2007

University Blues

Categories: Geography General, Atmosphere, Environmental Hazards, Development and Health, Rivers

Feel a bit of a turncoat here, being a Strathclyde alumni, but I'm posting this website for teaching colleagues, those who have an interest in taking Geography further after school and myself for future reference. The University Of Glasgow Earth Sciences Department ran a course today which I attended, and over the next few days, I expect materials from the in-service will surface in the Teacher's section, but there's a stack of things here to have a look at, as well as some school student competitions. I particularly liked Derek Fabel's response to 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' TV programme, something I've blogged about before and an issue I know students like to air an opinion on from past experience. Also, some timely info provided about Sub Saharan Africa and Development& Health, handy as I'm looking at this with Higher on Wednesday. One of the lectures was basically a whole host of real time unplanned holiday snaps from Thailand, as one of the presenters found himself in Phuket during the Asian Tsunami on boxing day 3 years ago, and I'm sure these could be used when teaching Earth Forces and Environmental Hazards. On that note, The Google Earth Blog, erm, blogged about some nice things to complement Noel Jenkins' Montserrat exercise, should we use this again in the future.
Being out always leaves me feeling a bit exposed when I return to school, as you never know where your classes will be with the work that you left. I'm hoping that Higher are well on with Rostow-I've tried embedding the slideshow from Rich Allaway again. We'll finish this off tomorrow and hopefull ready ourselves for area case studies. Advanced Higher should have handed in the Issues first draft-thank you for the Christmas Present of extra marking ;-) We'll finish off the Lyme Regis exercise tomorrow that was started on Friday and put on hold. We'll probably have a lenghty chat about Malaria at the start fo the s4 lesson, but I was reminded about the Malaria/Mosquito games by a colleague today (Cheers, Michael!) which I've used in the past. I remember one pupil saying the Mosquito game was the worst game he had ever seen, and then I couldn't get him off the machine... Lastly, s1 will do their Brazil Simpson's stereotypes exercise tomorrow, hopefull some light relief in the run in (nearly there....).Thanks to Helen Nurton for her Slideshare presentation on this.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Talking Indicators

Cateogories: Development and Health
I first found this brilliant talk from the creator of gapminder on Geography all the way, many thanks. Take a little time to view the lecture, it's really worthwhile (and I probably wouldn't have time to use it in class!).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gapminder and Gastarbeiter revisited

Categories: Population, Development and Health, Advanced Higher

I haven't had time to resource a new case study of voluntary migration, so we've been doing the tried and tested (but unfortunately now a little dated) case study of Turkish migrants to Germany. Remember, the things you are looking for in your research are:-

1) Push and Pull factors

2) Obstacles to migration

3) Effects (both positive and negative) on the country of origin

4) Effects on the destination country

I posted about this last year, although after reading about a certain country on Wikipedia today, I am reminded how vigilant you should be using this source...

I am going to use a country sort with Higher after this to help us start Development and Health. I have used Gapminder to source the indicators which will eventually allow us to form a reasoned conclusion about which country is most developed. Last year, I got students to come to the front of the class, each having a country card and sort themselves out in a rank of least developed to most developed, so might use this again. We also used gapminder earlier today with Advanced Higher to do a choropleth mapping exercise. It's a really useful site too for looking at correlations, and as exam practise, we'll probably use this to do a Spearman's or Pearson's exercise in the future.
Here's an Update: We did the indicators exercise today, which was OK, maybe lasted a little longer than I'd hoped. We are following up and finishing some work on this tomorrow, and probably by Friday/Monday will be looking at the Rostow Model.
With s4 tomorrow, I'll probably be ready to go on to Malaria and will probably use my own starter movie to introduce the topic. s1 will have another opportunity to Google Earth it, as we look at relief. I wonder if they will get to grips with the space navigator as quickly as Higher, who were flying around Glasgow, Cyprus, Paris and New York today as if they had been using the device for months. New Jersey, Zoe, is over 20 miles the long way from Manhattan....unless, as Ashleigh suggested, you are swimming. It's also pretty big, so that's most probably a conservative estimate. As a lover of silly facts, I'm sure you'll appreciate these for your journey :-0

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday 2: Accents again

Categories: Population, Development and Health
Had more computer problems last night, not of scribd's making. Had to wait till this morning to upload Rwanda powerpoint, now below

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Monday 1: Mostly Maplecroft Maps

Categories: Population, Geography General, Development and Health
I'm splitting my posts for tomorrow. This one has a couple of useful links which I might not get the chance to use tomorrow, some lesson ideas and some Google Earth files, which I've used before in the blog. I have to say, it's fantastic having Google Earth up and running again after problems on my older computer seemed to show the world in among square pools of displaced ocean. I am also getting a little handier at the space navigator, although still have to resort to the mouse occassionally.
Although we have looked at Rwanda as our Higher case study for forced migration, I also remember Kosovo vividly, and there is some good information about the recent goings on in this blog post. Maybe worth a look as a comparison if we ever had time. I'm hoping to knock together a summary powerpoint for Rwanda, I'll try to upload tonight, depends on the scribd queue. For s4, I want to start Health in earnest by classifying the causes of Ill Health. It might be useful to look at a couple of Maplecroft maps, which are also available as Google Earth Files. Thinking of using the Hunger, Malaria, TB and AIDS ones to start a bit of discussion.
Finally, I haven't really fully explored this yet, but had a brief gander at this site which allows you to read news feeds, blogs etc from Geographical regions. Got this from Google Maps Mania, many thanks.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dangerous Ground

Categories: Geography General, Population, Development and Health, s1 and s2

I really liked the dangerous ground link that I found on my internet travels. This project was designed to draw attention to the anti-landmine campaign, and basically involves a campaigner trying to find his way round London without his feet touching the ground. There are lots of facts about landmines displayed in the bottom left of the screen as the movie plays, have a look. I've also linked the map above to a page about landmines if you want to find out more.

On the Google Earth Blog tonight, I also found a Google Earth overlay for population density, which will be nice to use for revision at supported study-spin the globe and stop it at random spots, asking class to explain the population density for the given area. We had one of the space navigators installed today and I have had a little play around with it. Some observations- It makes movements in Google Earth much much smoother, and was really excellent for moving in and around New York (some outstanding new imagery here). I have to say I also found it incredibly awkward to use when you are used to the mouse. Your hand seems to take you in all the wrong directions at first, and it will certainly need a little practice. I hope to have mine installed tomorrow for s1 to have a go.

s4 are starting Health tomorrow, so a little exercise will be thrown into the lesson, along witha mini medical! s5 started watching Hotel Rwanda today, and this should take a couple more periods as we try to build our case study from some of the movie facts. Advanced Higher have been doing a map interpretation, something that the Principal Assessor's have highlighted as a weakness in last year's candidates. This has to be handed in for assessment, I think one more period should be more than enough time. Lots to do just now- a reminder that completed t-tasks (this means corrections) have to be handed in on Friday, nextweek is the Issues first draft, and also for next week, I am looking for a rough idea of your Investigation topics.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Some Development resources

Categories: Development and Health
I chanced on a good summary of how to measure development, which has good information on both GNP and a combined indicator, the Human Development Index. There is also a Development Trumps Activity, which I may try, although this may be dependent on computer access. There are a lot of links here, including Oxfam, Christian Aid and Global Eye. I'm also always reminded of the miniature earth animation when doing development, so here it is.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Story in a Song

Categories: Population, Development and Health

We're starting migration tomorrow in Higher and I want to try teaching this slightly differently from before. We're going to do a quick family related starter to see where people have come from/went to regardless of distance, and then try to sort some of the migrations into groups. At this point, I'm not really going to ask about why people moved. We're going to do this through some lyrics, an idea I've seen used before but never tried with my classes. I'll maybe play the song, but please, no singing... :-0 We'll look at the lyrics and try to identify push/pull factors and maybe even obstacles to migration. If we've got time, we'll then look at the idea of a 'Day without Immigrants'- what do you think would be affected, what would be different?

I wonder if we could use the Hot potatoes Quiz from geointeractive with s4? Maybe a good Homework activity. I'm definitely going to use the BBC Scotland site, which is one you should bookmark for revision purposes.

In class the other day, we were talking about how Natural Disasters can have an impact on Development. One of the blogs that I link to here, Tony Cassidy's Pilot GCSE blog, has a lot on the recent cyclone which hit Bangladesh , a country blessed with fertile soils and flat land, but blighted by annual floods. Have a read and follow some of the links-read about his recent trip to the country and think about the differences in lifestyle from your own.

Worst Places in the World, Chinese Pensioners and Mind Mapping with a difference

Categories: Geography General

I struggled to think of any categories for this post, as a lot of the things I've been reading of late are a bit random-some good stories, but not sure how I can tie them in to lessons. Anyway, here they are...

I was reading a blog which I've recently started subscribing to and followed the link to another blog called The Worst Places in the World. I thought that this might be a useful idea for the s2 course. I'm not teaching s2 this year, but we have been looking at last year's new resources and tweaking bits here and there. It would make a good foil for the world webcams task (where we look at attractive environments) if you could do your top five 'worst places in the world' through some kind of shortened categories from the left sidebar of this blog e.g. Pollution, War, Disasters etc

As I have two students in Advanced Higher doing something on the One Child Policy for dissertations, I thought that this link might be useful for a different perspective on the problems of running such a policy (Thanks to darren33 on sln). This might also be handy for Higher, who are working on a web enquiry at the moment.

I wish I'd seen this map when we started maps with s1 last week. I found this through another website, but I notice that this has also been mentioned on sln by Noel Jenkins, so I'll reference that rather than where I chanced upon it! ;-)

I have acted upon some of the pupil feedback from a while ago and linked the various wikis/blogs to this one. Still thinking about labels for year group work, although reading back this post, I am imagining how highly unsuccessful I would be at separating relevant articles...