Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Fieldwork Questionnaire

One of the things launched at the GA conference was a questionnaire on fieldwork and outdoor learning which was developed by Philip Monk and other colleagues on the Fieldwork and Outdoor Learning Special Interest Group.

There's no better way to see the landscape than by being out in it.

If you had time to fill the survey in, that would help to inform the GA's future support for Fieldwork and Outdoor Learning.
It's embedded below as well if you had time to help out.


One of the really useful resources that I picked up at the conference was from the Field Studies Council, and is a guide to GIS.

They also offer a range of CPD courses for teachers at a low price.


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Using ArcGIS Online to explore landscapes...

We have been using ArcGIS Online in school for several years now, and ESRI UK have kindly given us a free subscription for the last few years so that we can share our work.

At the end of the Awards presentation at this week's GA Conference Stuart Bonthrone, the MD of Esri UK stood up and made an announcement which was in some ways inevitable after events previously in the USA, and also very welcome.


Stuart announced that from immediate effect, ArcGIS Online will be free to all UK schools.

Under the heading of "The Science of Where", Stuart then played a short video featuring the inspirational work of Thierry Torres and colleagues at Dover Grammar School.


If you want to know more, and sign up your school, head for the ESRI UK Schools page.



I also had the chance to meet Steve Richardson, who is being employed to produce new resources and materials for teachers to encourage more use of the tool in classes.
There are already over 60 resources available, with plenty more to come.



Finally, check out the GeoMentors programme, which pairs up schools with GIS professionals.

Sign up your school now

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Sense of Place

Havergey by John Burnside from Roseanne Watt on Vimeo.
"On the small and remote island of Havergey, a few years from now, a community of survivors from a great human catastrophe has created new lives and a new world in a landscape renewed after millennia of human exploitation. To this strange new land comes a traveller from our own time, bewildered by what he finds, and an object of curiosity for the inhabitants, especially the one assigned to watch over him, as he spends his first weeks on the island in Quarantine. Left alone with a history of the community and its roots, he uncovers truths and new mysteries about the people he has encountered, their forebears and the last throes of the old world. In this new novella, the acclaimed poet, novelist and critic brings his unique sensibility to the idea of utopia. A timely reminder about how precious and precarious our world is, it’s also a rejection of the idea of human supremacy over landscape and wildlife."

Published by Little Toller Books, April 2017
https://www.littletoller.co.uk/shop/books/little-toller/havergey/


So many books, so little time...

Friday, 31 March 2017

Trace

Recommended read for those exploring our connections with landscape and changes through history...

River Tees StoryMap

Excellent work by Steve Richardson adds another dimension to previous work I've done using Google Earth and GeoGraph to tell the changing story of a river...
Fits with some of the ideas in 'Fieldwork through Enquiry' as well.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Lego-ifier

Mapping tool which turns world maps into Lego... really excellent...
Nice work by John Nelson and Vanni Zhang.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Robert MacFarlane is now on Twitter

Robert MacFarlane's work and influence has featured here many times. He joined Twitter in February 2017, and already has over 4500 followers.
Follow Robert for landscape words and images and related news.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Place based research

One of the sessions at the recent GTE Conference that I most wanted to see was Emma Rawlings-Smith's presentation on her research so far into how place is represented in textbooks. I was interviewed by Emma last year as part of this research, with respect to how we wrote the AQA 'A' Level textbook for CUP and the OCR 'A' and 'B' books for Hodder.

Emma has a blog which is used to show her progress in her research.

The blog is called GeoPlaces and is on the Weebly platform.

The blog is connected with her PhD research. It's also very useful to connect the academic ideas on place with the teaching that is involved in the new 'A' level Changing Places topic. Emma interviewed me on my decision-making process when writing and editing the draft of this chapter in the Cambridge University Press textbook.
There is a useful set of resources here.

Finally on Changing Places, you may want to see an article by Richard Phillips in the latest Geography Review magazine, which looks at Changing Places in the context of Hackney. You can follow him on Twitter too.

You could also usefully watch Alan Smith's TED talk below:

Sunday, 8 January 2017

East of Elveden

I've mentioned this blog before, but there have been some excellent recent additions which explore some aspects of local landscapes, and have given me some inspiration for recent writing and thinking about place.

It describes itself as offering:

Hidden places, secret histories and unsung geography from the east of England and beyond

Follow Laurence Mitchell on Twitter too

Ladybirds and landscapes

Now this is JUST my sort of thing...

Saturday, 7 January 2017

London's Protected Views

This was the title of my KS3 Landscapes Toolkit book on Landscapes. A few copies are still left, and you can buy one from the GA website.

A view is something which can add so much to a person's well being, and also add value to a property: a view of the sea adds tens of thousands to the value of a house for example.
This article describes the potential damaging of a view of London that has been in existence for hundreds of years, and which was thought to be protected: a view of St. Paul's Cathedral.
If one goes to the top of the new Tate Modern extension, one can see a wonderful view across to the Cathedral.

But you can also see the proliferation of tall buildings, some of which are not to everyone's taste.

There are some views of St. Pauls Cathedral, the Monument, Tower of London and other buildings which can't be blocked as they are protected.

The views and directions can be seen on this map, and there's also an interactive version on the link above.
 

I also wrote about this idea for the work that I did as a way of using GIS, but it never really got developed to the same degree as was originally planned.

Here's a statement from St. Paul's cathedral.
The Leadenhall Building's 'cheese grater' shape was apparently so that a classic view to the cathedral was not impinged upon.
This is shown in the London View Management Plan.

Image: Alan Parkinson

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

UK's Geology and Landscape

An article in the Independent on the UK's natural wonders.

"It's geology that has created our diverse and extraordinary natural wonders. We owe the creation of vertiginous cliffs and sea stacks to deposits of sandstone and chalk; soft limestone has been etched and scoured to carve craggy gorges, coastal arches and echoing caverns; and sculpted from extrusions of volcanic basalt are the weirdly geometric columns of causeways and sea caves".

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

New VR article in Independent Education Today journal

A few months ago, I was asked to write an article on the visit that Shailey Minocha and colleague Ana from the Open University, as part of their work with Google Expeditions.
I submitted the article and forgot about it.


It's now available to view online as it's been published in the latest issue of 'Independent Education Today'
They got my job title a little wrong, but otherwise the article was just about as I wrote it.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Christmas reading...

For those interested in landscapes, this book is recommended...
More to come on this as I get further into it, and start to use it for curriculum making...