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 www.digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk 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 (www.stevebackshall.com), one of Ordnance Survey’s #GetOutside Champions https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/os-champions/steve-backshall-life-outdoors/.

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 www.digimapwildlife.ed.ac.uk  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.

 

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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.

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:

Explore the ecological tapestry of the world – A New Global Ecosystems Map of unprecedented detail

ecological tapestry of the world

This collaboration between ESRI and the USGS is the most detailed global ecological land units map in the world more details of which can found in this blog post. Very useful for looking at the application of GIS and enables further exploration through GIS with the availability of ready to use data layers which can be utilised in ArcGIS.

There are a number of ways to access the Global Ecological Land Units Map:

1. Explore the introductory story map which consists of two aspects:

  • 1. Ecosystem Browser – zoom in / pan out on the map and click anywhere to identify the name of the ecosystem found there.
  • 2. Ecosystem Tour – allows you to take a tour of areas with a high ecological landscape diversity

2. Explore the ecological tapestry of the world here in the online application

3. Use the content in ArcGIS to explore landscape analysis using ready prepared data layers from Esri.

4.  Detailed publication (.pdf format) detailing the approach taken to mapping global ecological land units

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…

iPad Weekly Bulletin – Issue 6 (apps focus MUSIC)

Issue 6 of the iPad bulletin has a particular apps focus on apps for use in Secondary Music.

Click here to open this weeks bulletin

Click here to Open Bulletin

iPad Weekly Bulletin – Issue 5 (apps focus – Science)

Here is this week’s iPad bulletin – the fifth so far. Amongst other things it explores the “Stage” app for use as a simple IWB / document camera and has a large number of suggested apps for the Sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Click here to download the bulletin

iPad 5