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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Coded messages, streetview and little earthquakes

Categories: Urban, Advanced Higher, s1 and s2, Geography General, Other
I haven't blogged much in the last week as I've been busy with other work commitments and have also been trying to get used to what my new phone can do in terms of class work. Some interesting experiments, if I don't include the etch-a-sketch application which my two kids have been playing with... I installed a QR code reader after hearing Victoria Ellis's tweets about this on twitter. I thought of two potential uses for this in and around the school grounds. Our s1 map skills unit needs something else and I think that if I was lucky enough to have a classroom assistant with me, small groups could do some detective work around the shool building and grounds in a variant of geocaching. Once the original 'treasure' had been located using strategically placed QR codes, the group who found this could create their own QR clues for the next group and the treasure's new location. I might ask Mr Kerr to become involved in the next idea. We do an environmental quality survey of the school grounds with s2 near the start of the Environmental Issues unit, and I thought this might be an ideal opportunity for some guerilla geography, leaving their thoughts around the school in code, which will also hopefully spark some interest from other people and something which maybe the students themseves could 'guest' blog about on the eco club page. I've also been playing with a few weather and GPS applications for the phone too, and I'm currently looking at a compass which seems like it might be useful.
I wish I'd recorded the streetview exercise that Higher did on Friday, as I thought it worked really well for a comparison of inner city areas. I'll hopefully have something for tomorrow using this to look at the suburbs and beyond in Urban Geography. I loved urban geography at school, I just found a lot of it quite common sense, but I think we should have a chat about what the class has already done tomorrow. Sometimes I feel this is an area I've raced through too quickly with students before, perhaps because I don't see the complications that I might in some of the scientific topics like atmosphere.
Advanced Higher have really started to work their Study topics. I feel a lot more comfortable now about the volume and quality of work, but we'll also need to think about the final NAB, which relates to this. I'll talk about this tomorrow. s1 will probably have a look at some issues in the rainforest through Bruce Parry, after a bout of sting ants :-)
Finally, two asides. I am going to a launch for free school seismometers in Edinburgh soon. There is some training which follows in June and I think this would be just fantastic to have in the classroom, talking to students about tremors which are happening in real time. I am also interested in whrrl, should it come out of its US only mode to use in the Alps in June to tell a story about our trip. Last year we used twitter, this blog and flickr, so it would be nice to tell it through one platform. Speaking of the Alps, this excellent video got me thinking about glaciers, thanks to the Google Earth blog:

AK-03 Columbia Glacier from Cliff from Extreme Ice Survey on Vimeo.


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