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.

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Beginners Guide to Blogging

Start BlogBlogging is a fantastic tool for supporting teaching and learning as well as for personal professional development and reflection on areas of particular interest. With many online blogging sites available such as wordpress.com you don’t need to be a computer expert or understand .html to set up your own blog. If you are interested in keeping a blog or using blogging in the classroom check out http://startbloggingonline.com/ an excellent beginners guide on how to set up a blog by Mike Wallagher – very user friendly and everything you need to know! With the new academic year not far off maybe a blog is part of your new years education resolution!

Edynco – Interactive Learning Maps

edyncoI’ve recently come across Edynco which I’m hoping to try out over the next couple of weeks. I think this could have really good potential for helping students with revision and linking concepts and key ideas to support recall. Edynco enables simple mind-maps to be turned into interactive learning maps with the addition of other resources and links such as attached documents, audio, video etc.

There is a short introductory video here:

Formative – free student response / online formative assessment tool

FormativeFormative is an online student response system / online formative assessment tool which is made by teachers from across the US and is free for teachers and students. The tool enables a range of responses including multiple choice, numeric, text, drawing and taking pictures. Assessments are shared with students via a quick link or access code and student responses are sent to the teacher in realtime so that early intervention and tracking of student responses can be undertaken.

This video provides a useful overview of the tool.

There is also a useful tutorial video which shows you how to upload and convert a .pdf into a digital formative assessment. This video helps to show you the potential of the tool for setting online assessments as homework or classwork. As student work is completed it can be monitored in realtime.

I really like the potential of this and hope to give it a go with one of my exam classes over the next term. Have any of you had any experience of this already or have any ideas to share?

The Padagogy Wheel – v4

The excellent padagogy wheel v4. poster by Allan Carrington is a must for teachers interested in the use of iPads. Fundamentally, it’s creation looked at how pedagogy can drive the technology and not the other way.  The most recent version, published this month, has links to 122 of the latest and most popular educational apps.

Padagogy Wheel V4.0

The poster itself has a number of direct links to other supporting online resources. It is ideal for printing and sharing with colleagues in schools and colleges. The wheel helps to clearly show the links between apps, learning objectives, cognitive development actions etc. and has great potential for use in the creation of learning courses making best use of iPads – essential for any school looking at the truly effective integration of iPads in learning.

There is a very useful audio presentation here published by Allan Carrington which looks not only at the development of the padagogy wheel concept but also how it can be used.

Further links to Allan’s work and the Padagogy Wheel include:

The Padagogy Wheel v4 – the next generation
The Padagogy Wheelhouse

Timers for the Classroom – Vol 2!

Back in 2009 I wrote a post on Using timers in the Classroom. Things have moved on a lot since then, some of the ones on the old post are no more and I have just found a few other great timers so I thought I’d do a quick update with a new post.

Classtoolsnet timerI hadn’t seen this timer before but this is from the fantastic Classtools.net – it is brilliant! I love the fact you can add multiple timers and you can either run them all at once if you have different groups being timed in different ways, or they can run in sequence! I am looking forward to using these to help my Year 11s practise their timing when completing exam questions. You can also add tunes and youtube videos to your timers! One of my favourite features is the fact that you can save weblinks to your customised timers so you can set things up in advance and have a range of timers set up and saved for a variety of purposes.

Here are few links to some other timers as well:

Emaze – an alternative to PowerPoint?

emaze_logoEmaze looks like a potentially useful tool which can be put to good use in education, whether it is for students to create online presentations for homework or assessment purposes, or for teachers that want to create a presentation with a different look to PowerPoint with stunning visual effects for added impact, either in the classroom, or for creating CPD presentations for training purposes.

Emaze is also said to have  animation facilities which surpass those available on Powerpoint. It is a cloud based technology so you can access your presentations from anywhere. Another benefit is that it is multi-device so that it can be viewed and edited on PCs/ tablets / smartphones etc. There are also ready made templates and slides which can be easily edited.

Whilst Emaze wont replace my use of PowerPoint and SMART notebook in my teaching I can certainly see the benefit of having another tool in the toolkit when wanting to make a particular impact with a presentation, for example I am quite keen to try it out for creating an options presentation for KS3 into KS4 with a different look to the standard PowerPoint overload. With more and more students making use of digital media to present homework tasks I can also see some of them putting the free Emaze account to good use. There is also a presentation template designed specifically for education.

Whilst there is free account option there are premium plans for those that want to do more, including a special education plan at a reduced rate which includes all the features of their premium plan. With the pro version there are additional options, including creating video presentations which can be shared on blogs etc.

Here is a useful Emaze demonstration which gives an overview of what it offers…