Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Geogdiscussion tool


Image above: Straw Poll website for contestable geography or pre-knowledge testing.

Related links to Spatialworlds 
Geogaction
Spatialworlds website
GeogSpace

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au    

Where am I??  
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'


An easy and quick polling option to get geographical discussion underway


Further to the Spatialworlds contestable geography posting on PollEverywhere, here is another useful inter-active polling site for students to share their views on geographical issues. The website is called Strawpoll (www.strawpoll.me) and is a great website that enables you to create short polls for students to complete. This then generates a website that students can go to in order to answer the questions. Responses can then be displayed on the interactive white board in real time in the form of a Pie Chart.  Here is a video showing how to use it, showing the tool is not time consuming at all and very easy to use. It is even easier that PollEverwhere but more simplistic. A really impressive aspect of this site is that no software is required and students can easily access the poll. A really good option for the quick, on the spot poll in the classroom.



Monday, April 14, 2014

A different look at weather

Image above:  The Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Indigenous Weather Knowledge (IWK) Website Project site.

Related links to Spatialworlds 
Geogaction
Spatialworlds website
GeogSpace

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au    

Where am I??  
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'


Looking at weather through the Indigenous lens

A very useful website for geography students to engage with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture Cross curriculum priority is the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Indigenous Weather Knowledge (IWK) Website Project.

The site showcases the seasonal weather calendars  developed over thousands of years by Indigenous communities in Australia. The site is in its early stages of development and will be progressively expanded to include information for additional areas, as well as other facets of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interactions with, and knowledge of, weather and climate. Follow the sign posts on the IWK website to access the seasonal calendars. The site goes on to day that ..

"The project recognises the knowledge of weather and climate developed over countless generations by Australia's Indigenous communities, nicely complementing science and statistically based approaches. It provides an opportunity for communities to showcase their knowledge and for other Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life and culture.
The calendars recognise the complexity and diversity of weather over the Australian continent and are finely tuned to local conditions and natural events. Unlike the European spring, summer, autumn and winter, the Indigenous versions include often five, and sometimes seven, distinct seasons."  from the BOM Indigenous Weather Knowledge website


In short, the site is a great way to: 

... emphasise the relationships people have with place and their interconnection with the environments in which they live. The Australian Curriculum: Geography curriculum also enables students to learn that there are different ways of thinking about and interacting with the environment. It integrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' use of the land, governed by a holistic, spiritually-based connection to Country and Place, with the continuing influence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples on Australian places, and in environmental management and regional economies. 
from the 2013 Australian Curriculum: Geography curriculum document.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Geognews


Image above: The Royal Geographical Society of the UK 'Geography in the news' site.

Related links to Spatialworlds 
Geogaction
Spatialworlds website
GeogSpace

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au    

Where am I??  
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'


The right here, right now of geography

One of the many attractions of teaching geography is that it is a vehicle for the exploration and study of what is happening right now in the world. The spontaneity of geography to deal with current events around the world and locally makes geography a dynamic and real subject for students.  The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) of the UK has a great facility on its website called 'Geography in the news'.  On a daily basis geographical stories from around the world are showcased for schools and the geography interested in general. The facility has the potential to make your geography classroom current and relevant. As the RGS says: 

"Geography in the news provides direct support for your students through topical case studies, links to academic research and lectures, plus much more..."

The page also provides some useful links to geography teaching and geography relevant websites, articles on geography and 21st Century challenges, geography lectures, a geography glossary and news case studies. Although some of the material is UK focussed, there are plenty of resources on the site with a global reach

Monday, April 7, 2014

I Wonder?


Image above: The iWonder Home Page.


Related links to Spatialworlds 
Geogaction
Spatialworlds website
GeogSpace

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au    

Where am I??  
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'


The new iWonder site from the BBC

On 14 March the BBC launched BBC iWonder. This is a new factual and educational brand from the BBC, and it's all about feeding the curiosity. In the future the site will be perfect for stimulating geography, history, science and social studies classes via questioning and curiosity.  Whilst not all of the iWonder articles are geographical, the potential of the site to ask and answer geographical questions is enormous.
BBC iWonder provides thought-provoking answers to the questions sparked in your everyday life - questions sparked by BBC programs, what's in the news, important anniversaries, or what's trending on social media.

"The BBC iWonder homepage will introduce you to something surprising, provocative, exciting and challenging each day, hand-picking the most inspiring BBC content and blending it with the most wondrous stuff from around the Web and BBC Online."

Hopefully in time, this fascinating site will have more and more geography friendly items. At the moment it is primarily history, art & culture and science.  However the science iWonder on the Northern Lights in the UK has some fascinating physical geography and maps. The line between science and physical geography continues to blur!  This site will be no exception. At the moment it is a great site for history teachers using a great inquiry and questioning methodology to develop curiosity and interest.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A book by it's cover


Related links to Spatialworlds 
Geogaction
Spatialworlds website
GeogSpace

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Humsteach blog

manning@chariot.net.au    

Where am I??  
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'


 Just geographically interesting

Over the past year I have been curating a Scoop.it called 'Just real interesting'. As I say in the introduction to the Scoop.it, this site is: 

A Scoop.it of just interesting things with an obvious fascination with all things historical, social,  cultural and geographical (and just things real interesting!)

As a result of this rather vague description and in turn Internet trawling of the Scoop.it, I have curated a rather eclectic site. The site is particularly strong in the area of Cultural Geography and makes for some interesting reading, highly relevant to Human Geography. At times it is a challenge to see how it fits into a definition of geography but considering geography is dependent on the reader using the geographical lens, I think we can claim that almost any story can be seen as geography.  Here is just a taste of some of the very interesting sites from the Scoop.it on the perspective of appearance and culture and the related issues of beauty, sexism, racism and difference.

Muslim Woman Discovers Friendly New World When a Winter Scarf Covers Her Hijab

* How people in Muslim countries prefer women to dress in public

The burka ban in France

Guy Brings His White Girl To Barbershop In Harlem...

* Holloween costumes and racism 

* Supermodel wears Hijab for a day

* Anti-Muslim harassment

* Which place is actually more racist

* Finding cultural voice

* Body modification

* Little boys wearing dresses

* Advertising's Image of Women

* Girls wearing pink

* Muslim beauty pageant

* Fattening rooms for appearance 

* Foot binding

* Tatoos

* Scarification

* Beauty and men

* Concept of beauty

* Lip plates

Go to the Just Real Interesting Scoop.it to view more articles of great interest to the cultural geographer. I think you would agree there is some pretty eclectic but fascinating material there for the human geography classroom.


 


Monday, March 31, 2014

More WOW: World of Wonder


Image above: Mount Roraima, South America


Related links to Spatialworlds 
Geogaction
Spatialworlds website
GeogSpace

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Humsteach blog

manning@chariot.net.au    

Where am I??  
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'





This link  provides 33 unbelievable places to see as a geographer. To my knowledge they have not been manipulated to any extent and are just WOW places.  Here are just a few of my favorites. How many have you visited and/or used as a starter in your geography class? Why not make them a screensaver on your class computer for every week of the year? Great discussion point for students about how formed, where are they and are they real??






Nature (human and animal) at its best
While on about the WOW of nature, this home video of rescuing a Humpback Whale and it’s thanking of its rescuers is certainly awe-inspiring.




Perception is everything


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Literacy, Geo-literacy!



The traditional definition of literacy is: “Literacy is the ability to read and write”.  However in our modern technological society the concept of literacy is expanding to include the ability to function in a wide variety of contexts and areas of human endeavour and disciplines. It is not unusual to hear educators talking about scientific literacy, financial literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, spatial literacy and geo-literacy, to name just a few. Interestingly the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority in their overview has limited their definition to:

“In the Australian Curriculum, students become literate as they develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to interpret and use language confidently for learning and communicating…”

However the actual ACARA Geography curriculum does go further with the concept of literacy and gives credence to the idea of geo-literacy when it states:

“In Geography, students develop literacy capability as they learn how to build geographical knowledge and understanding and how to explore, discuss, analyse and communicate geographical information, concepts and ideas. They use a wide range of informational and literary texts, for example, interviews, reports, stories, photographs and maps, to help them understand the places that make up our world, learning to evaluate these texts and recognising how language and images can be used to make and manipulate meaning. They learn to comprehend and compose graphical and visual texts through working with maps, diagrams, photographs and remotely sensed and satellite images.”


Such geo-literacy is developing quite a following in the United States through the work of the National Geographical Society. 


" In our modern, globally interconnected society, it is more important than ever that people understand the world around them. For that reason, National Geographic is committed to advancing geo-literacy in the U.S. and around the world."  National Geographic 2014

Scoop.it aficionado, Seth Dixon has put together an interesting article on geo-literacy which contains some great short videos on geo-literacy from the National Geographic. Click here to view the article and videos.  

As Seth says in his article:

“Students are not simply passive recipients of learning that is transmitted to them; students can actively shape what they learn.  However, if we can create an environment that promotes and encourages higher-order thinking, we can help our students see their role in shaping a new world–that is our goal in promoting geo-literacy.”

and ... 

Whilst talking about the Australian Curriculum: Geography and the reasons why geography is so important for student capacity building,  the video introduction to the curriculum may be worth a look on the ACARA site.