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Odblog

A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Amazing Story of Brody

The Amazing Story of Brody.amr Listen on Posterous

Last river story, at request from Rachel and Emma :-)

Posted via email from Mr O'D's class posterous

Showing Callum how posterous works

Callum says hello.amr Listen on Posterous

As it says

Posted via email from Mr O'D's class posterous

Friday, June 24, 2011

Naomi and Lucy - a river tale

Naomi and Lucy - a river tale.amr Listen on Posterous

Posted via email from Mr O'D's class posterous

Gillian appearing as Delta Lake

river way gillian calder.amr Listen on Posterous

Another river story

Posted via email from Mr O'D's class posterous

Rachael does Rivers

My life's journey.amr Listen on Posterous

The journey of a river as an autobiography

Posted via email from Mr O'D's class posterous

Kyle and the Nile

Kyle and the Nile - The Story of a River.amr Listen on Posterous

Looking at a river from its upper to lower course through a narrative. Kyle is 14.

Posted via email from Mr O'D's class posterous

Kyle and the Nile

Kyle and the Nile - The Story of a River.amr Listen on Posterous

Looking at a river from its upper to lower course through a narrative. Kyle is 14.

Posted via email from Mr O'D's class posterous

Rachael does Rivers

My life's journey.amr Listen on Posterous

The journey of a river as an autobiography

Posted via email from Mr O'D's class posterous

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cavern timeline


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> <p align='center'><code><iframe scrolling='no' src='http://classtools.net/widgets/timeline_8/twXYI.htm?400?300' width='408' height='320' frameborder=0></iframe></code><p align='center'><a href='http://classtools.net/widgets/timeline_8/twXYI.htm'>Click here for larger version</a></p>
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Posted via email from Mr O'D's class posterous

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rock Garden

I was on the way to work this morning and found myself (as I often do) lamenting the state of some part of my house, in this case the garden. As the photographs show, the path is in a pretty poor state and the wall is being colonized by tiny ferns. In this instance, however, at least my annoyance and phone obsession married to complement my double period of advanced higher first thing.

We are trying to incorporate fieldwork around a real live local issue to give context to the geographical methods and techniques that students must be conversant in. Any Troon local would tell you that the future of Marr College, an old listed building whose green dome dominates the back end of the town, has been a highly contentious issue. There has been significant local opposition to the idea of a move to a new campus, with the preference given to a refurbished school, something which I think the consultation is now leaning towards. The amazing thing for me is the strength of feeling the students themselves express. One of the students in class today linked generations of her family to the school and others in the class were so very aware of things such as cost implications, issues which sometimes turn off younger interested parties. We decided to mobilize this interest by asking the class to consider the need for refurbishment/ relocation, if there was one at all.

This morning, before we started, two members of the class were sent out with trundle wheels to measure the perimeter of the old and 'new' buildings. We adapted Rhan's weathering scale and first of all looked at the external fabric of the building. This was really useful as, although we sampled the whole school, we were able to explore the intricacies of stratified sampling techniques by splitting an even amount of sample points between both parts of the school, important as the student perception was one of the new building being less fit for purpose. After this, we systematically sampled 15 points on both sites, therefore introducing another type of sampling. Students really embraced the task, got busy with their phones and picked out some great examples of physical, chemical and biological weathering. Furthermore, I think quite a few were surprised by the outcomes. A real added bonus was that the systematic sample totally missed the worst part of the new building, a fact not lost on some of the class, opening up a discussion about accuracy, validity and justification.

Finally, we spent the second period indoors doing building decay surveys, again splitting the sites, but this time doing a random sample. We were able to identify the flaws in this method (for example, clustering) and were introduced to a very useful tool for urban studies. Again, much credit to the class who were once again enthusiastic in their pursuit of their results. I'm sure the councils estates team could have a few good recruits from this group! We just about managed to discuss hypotheses before we finished and have enough to introduce some simple descriptive statistics tomorrow. I found this a really enjoyable and relevant way to introduce theory heavy content. Into the bargain, my photos allowed the students to visualize chemical and biological weathering. I don't feel so bad about the garden anymore :-)



Friday, June 03, 2011

Globalisation races

Over the last week, I have observed and then attempted a lesson from my colleague, David Marshall (@davie_marsh on twitter) which worked very well for the theme of globalisation. David had come up with a simple groups activity which perfectly illustrated what he called ‘time travel’, but in a wider sense, the ‘shrinking’ of distance due to a number of factors. David chose communication to approach this and I’m writing up how I used the same ideas in my lesson yesterday.
When I knew I would be observing David, I decided to send out a message on twitter to see how far it could go within 50 minutes, unbeknown to the students. The results were staggering, as the map above shows. We had 130+ responses and covered five continents. I’ll come back to this later in terms of how we used it in the lesson.
When the class arrived, I asked them to write down what they had for dinner the previous evening. We left this with the promise of returning to it later. I then explained the activity as set out by David. I asked for the fastest runners in the class to form a group. We then identified six students with mobile phones, fully charged, who could exchange each others numbers. Finally, the rest of the class would form a ‘Chinese Whispers’ line. Each class would be given the same message which would be distributed outside, as we would need space for our runners.
When the class had decanted and reassembled on the front lawns, the message (a definition of globalisation) was distributed. The mobile phone group had to text the message round the group, the runners had to pass the message in a relay and the Chinese Whisperers, well, they had to whisper it along a line of people. The runners set off like the clappers, the whisperers quickly lost large chunks of the message and the texters sent, received and forwarded in a race which became quite competitive. First to finish were the whisperers, but only one word of the message had survived in its original state. We discussed how, pre-technological advances, word of mouth would have been a common way to share information, but also how some of the information became distorted and changed. The texters were a very close second. Of all the groups, they were the only ones who could relay the message back. They had quickly distributed information between each other and, really, distance was not an obstacle. The runners were last to finish and also struggled to recall what the message was.
This was ideal for illustrating how communications advances have revolutionised the way that we exchange information and ideas across geographical boundaries. The Arab Spring is a perfect news example of this, but we returned to the classroom and looked at where our tweet had gone. It was quite amazing that in the short time that we had been outside, our words could travel to Christchurch, NZ and back with many other stops, but the exercise was also useful for looking at some of the less desirable aspects of globalisation. We had one reply from Africa and none from South America, so we were able to talk about access to technology and how some people benefit but, in many ways, some people become further disadvantaged through the idea of this shrinking world. It set an absolutely perfect context for our exploration of this theme through football and fashion later.
Finally, we came back to dinner. The first two students I asked had macaroni cheese and chicken korma, the third had more traditional food, but had rice as an accompaniment. We were able to tie globalisation into not only the exchange of ideas and information, but also things like food, clothes and so on. A thoroughly enjoyable lesson to watch and to teach. Why not share your opinion with @davie_marsh ? ;-)
 
 

Posted via email from Mr O'D's class posterous