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Odblog

A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Test

[1]test.avi Watch on Posterous

Playing with stop motion makers

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

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

Friday, October 07, 2011

Can you help 2P?

Let's try that again, had an error with code first time:

Could you please help us fill our map up? We are looking to see if there is a pattern to where our electronic goods originate from. We think that there will be a far greater spread than there used to be, with Japan in particular previously dominating this market. Simply click on 'edit map' click on the tear shaped marker and drop it wherever you like. Remember to tell us what the product is and remember to save (blue button on the right hand side). If you are feeling more generous with your time than you are already being, you could tell us where the product was made. Again, we think this might be different from where the company comes from. Many thanks in advance.

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

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

Can you help 2P?

<object height="300" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="500"><param /><param /><param /><param /><param /><embed allowfullscreen="true" src="http://umapper.s3.amazonaws.com/templates/swf/embed.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="300" flashvars="kmlPath=http://umapper.s3.amazonaws.com/maps/kml/112488.kml" width="500" /></object>

We are looking at the electronics industry, for years a Japanese dominated field. Could you please consider dropping a marker on the map telling us what your favourite electronic gadget is and where the company who make it come from? For example, I have an HTC phone, so I dropped a pin on Taiwan and listed the product. Also, if its easily visible, within the marker text, could you say where it was made? We think these might differ. Placing a marker is easy. Just click on 'edit map', click on the tear shaped symbol and put the marker wherever you like. Remember to click save on the right hand toolbar afterwards. Many thanks for your help in advance.

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

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Settle the argument

VIDEO0045.3gp Watch on Posterous

Had a fantastic period with S4 today. We have just started the Settlement topic and were discussing site, situation and function. I'll post more of these later, but this argument about a city's natural boundary was a good snapshot of the work, showing a good awareness of limiting factors in a settlements growth. Apologies for the strong Scottish brogue. Kenny Dalglish eat your heart out :)

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

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Geography as Science

I am a human geographer at heart. I've always linked Geography to the other social subjects and studied it in conjuction with, first of all, history, politics and English, before finally specialising in Geography and Politics for my honours. I do, however, think it is important at a time when Geography seems to be losing some claims on its territory (in my opinion, particularly in the way CfE outcomes are divided across the curriculum) that we sell ourselves as a scientific discipline too. Our strongest tool here is geographical enquiry.
This relies on being able to conduct studies in the field. Although we weren't able to do that today, my S3 class had a really productive period drawing conclusions about the value of enquiry. We have been studying river landscapes and started the period, which we titled "Researching Rivers", with a simple question- Why? This triggered a broad ranging discussion where I suggested that I could send out groups of students to research rivers and, without me directing them, the students would be able to frame their own enquiry. This brought the discussion round to science and I asked why scientists conduct experiments. I was  surprised that many students thought that it was to make the subject more practical and enjoyable, while some others thought it was to learn through experience. While elements of this may be true, I was pleased when a very astute member of the class suggested it was about proof of assumptions.
This gave us the opportunity to discuss the events at CERN, Einstein's theory about nothing being faster than the speed of light and science always looking for the answers. I then asked the students why they should trust everything I tell them about rivers when theories which have shaped the nature of modern science are being questioned. It would be reasonable to test the way that I had modelled rivers against real research and first hand data.
I then presented the class with a bag of props. 2 metre sticks, a ruler, a bag of corks, a stopwatch, a clinometer and a measuring tape were there, as far as I remember. The class were asked to determine 6 ways in which they could confirm or challenge the assumptions that I had encouraged in teaching rivers. They were reminded that their methods would have to be as rigorous as those of the scientist and they could only use the props given. I had some outstanding descriptions of fieldwork techniques presented which considered the need for accuracy, consistent sampling and showed a real awareness of expected changes along the long profile of a river and how these could be verified. It is the first time I have taught a Standard Grade class the theory behind geographical enquiry where the learning did not feel forced or removed from the reality. I also feel that placing enquiry with scientific research in this way gave students a far better understanding of the why and how of the techniques. Overall, a very pleasing outcome to the lesson.

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No Problem

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If you can see past the tired board and actually read the words, this was a surprisingly successful exercise which was supposed to last 15 minutes or so in preparation for a future activity. It ended up lasting the full period with an enthusiastic S2 class who relished tackling the problem. We had suggestions which led to landscaped eco-housing which utilized space on the mountains enclosing the city (for so long seen as a barrier), a hi-tech bike train and monorail powered by solar and tidal energy, underwater colonies based on actual pilot developments, Bi-level cities separating traffic to the lower level and leisure space to the sky level and a number of other great ideas. We are going to collect some bits of audio where the students can talk more about their suggestions and can come back to this afterwards. The lessons for me here were 1) that students can surprise themselves with the level of their thinking 2) that it pays to come off a timeline to explore student creativity and 3) that even supposedly 'tired' topics can have some mileage if the learning is opened up to student interest. This is a unit I have been thinking seriously about sidelining, but activities like this and some of the associated content should be brought to wherever we go next with our curriculum if we want to keep it relevant and engaging.

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

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Memorise a place #ME0074

Going to use a variant of this tomorrow with my S4 group, who have just started settlement. I'm going to ask each student to memorise their journey home, map it and then re-examine it the next day for accuracy. We will then use the resultant memory maps to first of all discuss the nature of our settlement. Does it have a recognizable start and finish? What kind of services does it provide? Are there clear areas of housing separate from shops and industry? What does our place have that others don't? What's it missing that other places have? This will lead quite naturally into settlement hierarchy and function. We will then use these later to develop an idea of land use organisation which will help when we look at urban spaces. I'm going to supplement this tomorrow in class by looking at the site of Glasgow on the OS map and asking students to identify the centre, account for its location and subsequent growth and then ask students to draw a notional boundary for Glasgow and explain their choice. Hope to record some audio and post with images of student choices.


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