Using Technology in teaching KS4/KS5 Geography

I haven’t posted for a while due to the hectic nature of preparation for the new GCSE and A’level courses. Back in November however I gave a talk in London looking at Utilising Technology in Teaching KS4 and KS5 Geography and thought I would share the resources on here.

The handout can be downloaded here and has lots of direct weblinks and advice to support geography teachers in following up the ideas discussed.

The presentation given is below. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


Apps for Geography Fieldwork

With preparations underway for fieldwork to support students with the new AS and A2 specifications and to provide them with tools that may be useful for their independent investigations I have been exploring options for useful apps to take into the field. The screenshot below is a small selection of some the key ones that we hope to use during fieldwork over the next couple of months. I will be reviewing some of these as and when we use them. For now just something to think about….

Page 1 – Fieldwork Apps

Page 2 – Fieldwork AppsFieldwork Apps2

Free Online Earthquake Teaching Resource

natural-disastersNatural Disasters: Earthquakes

The British Red Cross, supported by the Geographical Association, has launched a new, free educational resource for geography teachers. Natural disasters: earthquakes is a curriculum-led geography teaching resource that draws on the recent experience of the  Red Cross during the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

Using case studies, maps and eyewitness accounts, this latest British Red Cross teaching resource provides a unique perspective on how individuals and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from earthquakes.

The British Red Cross, which provides a range of educational resources for teachers to download online, created this resource in response to research that showed geography teachers were looking for case study content that brought human stories into the classroom.

With the unique perspective of the Red Cross the humanitarian impact of a natural disaster is explored alongside understanding how earthquakes happen. Resources start with activities for all students and then differentiate into activities for Key Stage 3, GCSE and A level, a curriculum mapping document shows how the resource can contribute to the curricula of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Natural disaster: earthquakes and can be downloaded for free from the British Red Cross website.

The resource will help students:

  • Learn about the physical geography, hazards and risks which can cause a natural disaster such as an earthquake.
  • Explain and analyse the varied impacts an earthquake may have on individuals and communities.
  • Gain insight into the role of the Red Cross in disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
  • Explore the concept of resilience and what might make a community more able to cope in a crisis.

Practical Pedagogies 2016

Practical Pedagogies

Following the success of last years conference, Russel Tarr (@russeltarr), an inspirational History teacher, responsible for sites such as and Active History is organising the second Practical Pedagogies conference on November 3rd/4th 2016 at the International School of Toulouse, “a high-impact training conference for classroom teachers by classroom teachers.”

It is a not-for-profit teacher training conference with a genuine focus on improving the quality of education in schools with sessions let by practising teachers who have had lots of hands-on classroom experience. (More information is given here).

EARLY BIRD 25% DISCOUNT RATE – for those that book before 15th June 2016 there is an early bird 25% discount rate of 150 Euros (standard rate thereafter is 200 Euros).

Practical Pedagogies 2016 is being held at the International School of Toulouse in France in November and is an excellent opportunity for teachers from all over the world to meet with the shared aim of improving the quality of education in our schools. The school is located close to Blagnac Aiport and is accessible by cheap flights from most European Cities. This years keynote speaker is Ewan Macintosh, a highly regarded educational consultant and founder of NoTosh.

There are over 100 sessions (workshops and seminars) on offer over the course of the two days, with sessions providing a focus for both primary and secondary staff and including a variety of topics from subject specific to wider whole school pedagogical issues such as assessment and revision and the use of educational technology. Delegates will be able to attend up to 8 sessions over the two days. The full programme can be accessed here.

Full details are available on the Practical Pedagogies 2016 website and there is a contact form here for any questions.

You can also follow Practical Pedagogies on twitter @pedagogies

Digimap for Schools – Primary Schools Competition – Win a visit from Steve Backshall

As of today, any primary school in GB is able to access the wonderful contemporary and historic Ordnance Survey mapping in University of Edinburgh’s award winning Digimap for Schools service to take part in a wildlife mapping competition.

Any school in Great Britain with primary aged children is eligible to enter the competition with the winning school receiving a visit from Steve Backshall (, one of Ordnance Survey’s #GetOutside Champions

wildlifemap-adThe competition requires schools to use the annotation tools within Digimap for Schools to create a map annotated with photographs and text labels showing signs of wildlife around their school.  Each photograph will be accompanied on the map with a question the pupils would like to ask Steve relating to the wildlife they have photographed.  If a school wishes to enter the competition but is not a current subscriber to Digimap for Schools they can register for 30 days free access to the service.

The competition is being launched at this year’s Geographical Association conference and runs until 10th June.   Schools should visit  today to sign up.

This is an excellent opportunity for schools to realise maps are relevant to all areas of the curriculum (flora and fauna study, history and measurement to name a few) and to find out what their school and local environment looked like in the 1950s and 1890s.


Using new technologies in Geography

Back in January I ran part of a training session for a local network of Geography teachers. The main session was taken by Jason Swale from ESRI UK looking at the fantastic ArcGIS and the ways in which it can be used to successfully integrate GIS into the curriculum, particularly in light of the new GCSE and A’level specifications. Prior to this I did a short 30 minute session exploring some of the ways in which new technologies can be utilised in the teaching and learning of Geography, drawing particularly on some of our experiences in the ways we use it in my department at St Ivo School. Here is the presentation summarising the key ideas discussed during the session.

In case it is useful you can download the handout of links I gave out on the evening here to help explore some of the ideas covered in more detail.

Revision Strategies and Support – in and beyond the classroom – Version 3 – 2016!

Rev SupportLast year, whilst still in my previous role as Lead Practitioner I wrote / compiled a document called “Revision Strategies in and beyond the classroom”. The aim was to bring together ideas for teachers with regards to planning activities for both within the classroom as well as those which could be used to support students with revision outside of the classroom. Whilst my role in school has changed, Teaching and Learning remains a central responsibility and I wanted to return to this document as we enter the new exam/revision season.

The hope was that the document could continue to be a live one which could be updated with suggestions of strategies that have worked well for practising teachers which they would be happy to share with others.

Lots of people have kindly made suggestions for good ideas to add and please do send feedback or other ideas of good practice which could be added to share with the education community. Here is Version 3 of the document, updated for the 2016 exam/revision season. As well as new revision ideas in Part 1, other updates, amongst others, include the use of Kahoot as a interactive response system and the use of Schoology as a way of providing an online course with revision materials for students.

You can download Revision Strategies and Support – in and beyond the classroom – Version 3 – 2016! here.

As with previous versions I would like to thank those people that have contributed, both from St Ivo and from the Twittersphere!

Please do email any feedback or suggestions to me (contact at side of blog). Ideas can also be sent via twitter to @RobGeog.