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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's worth taking a look at this blog...

Categories: Other
I recently got tagged by David Rogers in a blogging round. Basically (and many thanks for the mention), David suggested some blogs that he reads which others might be interested in. Anyone that is tagged is invited to do the same, and insert the image above in their post. I thought about this, and know that my inspirations in the teaching of Geography, such as David, Ollie, Alan, Tony, Noel and Val have been tagged before (I think). I wasn't sure if other people had directed readers to other geography blogs like Liz's or Victoria's (which I'm kind of doing now), but I also feel that this is an opportunity to just share some blogs which don't always inform my teaching, but that I find really good reads. First one is my favourite, but after that, it's in no particular order:

1) Google Maps Mania - Ever since I was young, I've been fascinated by maps. I could (and still can) sit for hours and pore over the atlas, reading the landscape from the colours and representations on the key. I followed the contour lines on O.S. maps to guess the shapes of peaks and then...then, I forgot. I graduated, started work and fell out of love with maps as a busy life took over. When I started training as a geography teacher, I quickly regained my enthusiasm for paper representations of space, but then google turned paper mapping on its head. Maps are now something which everyone relies on to some extent or other, whether it be businesses embedding electronic maps on their website or unfortunate individuals placing absolute trust in their sat navs as they drive into rivers. Anyone can make their own map, and cartography has never been so easy or popular. Keir Clarke's Google Maps Mania never ceases to amaze, amuse and articulate the vital role that mapping media plays today, with countless examples of rich, layered maps and apps. A must read.

2) Mapperz - There is often shared content between this and the above, and much of what I said about the first site applies here too. Some of the posts get a bit more technical, and I have been drawn to OpenStreetMap, among other things, because of this blog. Mapperz has a great knack of making maps and mapping something that I want to explore and experiment with more.

3) Free Technology for Teachers - The best site on the web for a stream of high quality web apps for professional purposes. Extremely prolific, Richard Byrne provides overviews and evaluations of the apps and occasionally has guest bloggers sharing their technology tips too. Probably the most valuable site for general teaching that I use just now, but also provides some great sites that, although I don't, can't or wouldn't use in a Geography class, take up roughly as much time as those I would :)

4) John's Posterous - John Johnston was my introduction to the possibilities of posterous with his experiments by iphone from his hill walks to the house window. Lovely photo albums, video, mini broadcasts from Donich summit, time lapse movies etc. I loved the simplicity of this site so much, I started my own and now have an s1 ICT class using posterous instead of a jotter so that they can display all of their media in the one place. Quietly inspiring.

5) Digital Urban - I can't really pigeonhole this beguiling blog, except to say that it's a city thing, funnily enough. I just find it so clever; it was the first place I saw tiltshift films, I am enjoying their series just now on tales of things and it generally satisfies with the quirky.

6) Edu.blogs - Ewan MacIntosh, as I've said before on this blog, was one of the two people who indirectly encouraged me to start blogging. Although Ewan has moved some way from the talk he gave to the MFL teachers (and me) at St Ninians some years ago, I still enjoy reading his articles, which remain innovative while stepping out of education more and more.

7) Geography Jazz - This is a cheat, as I've already mentioned Alan, but I think one of the things about the internet and social sites is that it makes us all a bit nosey. Alan has recently posted mostly geography related articles on this, one of his many blogs, but I also like it when he shares little personal snippets that reveal a bit more about the author's personality. Fine malt whisky, music and other asides make this blog feel as though Alan is writing it sitting beside a roaring fire, malt in hand and nodding to some freeform ;) That doesn't sound a bad life, not quite a travelodge, eh Alan? Alan also gets double mentions as he was the other blogger catalyst.

There are a host of other blogs that I regularly read, but I reckon these are a good representation of the kind of general reading that I find useful.


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