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
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Page 2 – Fieldwork AppsFieldwork Apps2

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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.

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.

New Review Game – Connect Fours

ClasstoolsThe brilliant Russell Tarr from Classtools.net has created a great new review game called Connect Fours. As with all the fantastic tools on the classtools.net website, they are free and can be hosted on blogs, websites etc. and require no password or signup. The game consists of a wall with 16 clues which then need sorting into 4 rows of connected items. A sample game can be tried out here.

ConnectFoursColdEnvironmentsThere are many good ways to put this to use as a little starter or plenary activity on the IWB to check understanding and to act as a stimulus for class discussion. I am going to try it out as a starter for a forthcoming Year 12 revision lesson to practise categorising landforms in cold environments.

Richard Byrne from Free Technology 4 Teachers has created a short youtube clip showing how to create a review game using Connect Fours.

Classtools.net also has a fanpage on Facebook with frequent useful updates and is worth a follow!

QUICK FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT – The Quick Key App

USING NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO UNDERTAKE QUICK FORMATIVE ASSESSEMENT

QuickKeyContinued formative assessment is an integral part of the work in our classroom and with the continuous development of new technologies there are various excellent apps and sites which can support staff with different types of assessment. One of my favourite tools is the Quick Key app.

Assessment of pupil progress in Quick Key enables quick assessment by using your mobile or tablet as a scanner which instantly marks students answers saving you time grading the papers which can be used instead to provide feedback and support student progress by identifying and tackling areas of weakness in knowledge and understanding. This allows you to focus your time on the students and doesn’t require students to have access to technology as the answers are completed on paper!

The short video below demonstrates Quick Key in action:

So how does Quick Key work?

You simply need to sign up on the website for a free account. Once your account is set up you can start adding students. This can be done manually or by importing student lists, for example as a .csv file. Once you have imported students you can then create classes and allocate students to the relevant classes.

You are then ready to create a Quiz – this can be up to 30 questions. You can insert your question and make it clear on your quiz, which of the answers is the correct one (i.e. multiple choice).  In terms of running the quiz you can read the questions out to the students and the options or have them on powerpoint slides.

In our department I have opted to create a quiz format sheet which has the questions by the side and the possible answers by the questions (where I am not using all the possible multiple choice options boxes are blanked out). 

Quick Key ticketStudents simply fill the answers in on the ‘exit ticket’ which can be downloaded from the site. I have incorporated this into the base of our quiz sheets.

Each student is allocated an ID number which they must add to their exit ticket. Once students have completed their tests, you can use the QK app on your phone or tablet to quickly scan each paper and the marks will be allocated to the relevant student. I have marked a set of 30 students in less than 2 minutes before!

I am particularly using this at the moment for frequent assessment of Year 10 and 11 students. The answers are marked within seconds so I can give students feedback within minutes which makes the whole process more useful. I then either go through the questions with the students and their papers and the just highlight the answer to the questions they got wrong or if at the end of the lesson I do this for them as my ‘marking’.

Results are saved for each students for each task so you can easily build up a continuous record of assessment – useful for a quick snapshot of student progress in between more extended end of unit tests.

Quick Key Export ShotThere are various options for exporting your results and you can also analyse your results e.g. by sorting according to mark (highest to lowest etc.)

Quick Key Screen Shots 1

 

Once you have created your classes and quizzes they are located easily on the Quick Key dashboard. You can easily re-use and assign quizzes to different classes and in our department we are working together to build a bank of department Quick Key assessments.

A more detailed account of the stages can be found on the excellent Sandagogy site here

Support Screen Shot

 

One of the things I have been really impressed with this tool is the level of support and commitment from the developers who will help whenever they can and are consistently looking to maximise and develop the app further. One of the founders, Walter Duncan (@4_teachers), an ex-teacher (who has only recently left the classroom after 15 years, to concentrate on the app) is full of enthusiasm and with a background in teaching he knows exactly what teachers need and how we can best help our students. The website has a support centre to request support including FAQ and a new Help Centre. The founders are however also keen to build up a community of users and there is a growing Quick Key Forum. There are many educationalists on twitter who are also sharing resources and ideas on the use of Quick Key in the classroom context. Likewise there is also a dedicated Quick Key Support twitter feed 

 

A few of us in the Geography community have been sharing quizzes through Anthony Bennett’s “Internet Geography” site and the examples of these quizzes can be found here, including a copy of the template I designed for our department. http://www.geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk/quickkey.htmlExample QuickKey

A guide on how to create an assessment using Quick Key guide can be found here
http://www.geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk/QKresources/quikkeyguide.pdf

Simon Renshaw has also done some very interesting work looking at the use of hinge questions and the QuickKey app and his findings are here http://srenshaw.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/evaluating-the-use-of-hinge-questions-and-the-quick-key-app/      

There is a Quick key facebook page so you can share with other colleagues  you think might be interested and remember, you can download the quickkey app from the itunes app store – full details available here.  

iPad Bulletin – issue 9 (Apps Focus – Geography)

iPad Bulletin 9

You may have noticed that at the moment this has become a fortnightly bulletin rather than weekly – mainly due to time pressures! Hopefully it will give people more time to digest and try things out! Click here to download this week’s bulletin.

New online KS3 Geography resource on the Coffee Trade – Costa for Schools

Costa for SchoolsTeaching about trade? A fantastic new interactive online physical and human geography resource aimed at 11-14 year olds has just been launched supporting the KS3 geography curriculum. The site provides a great set of free online resources from the Costa Foundation exploring the coffee trade around the world and how it affects the lives of coffee growing communities. There are a vast range of detailed case studies and lots of resources and teaching ideas. Although it is mainly aimed at KS3 there is a vast array of case study material here which could be adapted for use with older students.

interactive map

There is an Interactive Map providing an online journey of the coffee bean from crop to cup with detail on exports of different countries and a more detailed focus on ‘case study’ countries. The map links to case studies from the Costa Foundation and Rainforest Alliance’s work in the coffee belt countries, from Guatemala to Vietnam, and really brings Human & Physical Geography to life!

Tracking the journey of the coffee bean, students learn how the coffee trade helps these communities grow and protects ecosystems:

 

Students ask and understand:

•           where coffee comes from

•           how coffee can improve lives

•           and how it can make the world a better place.

Case Studies

There some great free resources for teachers, including comprehensive lesson plans that cover core aspects of the KS 3 Geography curriculum including:   Space,  Interdependence, Cultural understanding and diversity, Graphicacy. (Curriculum links are detailed in accompanying teachers’ notes).

As well as an introductory PowerPoint which provides a history of coffee farming and the processes involved from crop to cup there are 3 key lesson plans..

Lesson 1 – Where does our coffee come from, and why does it matter?

Lesson 2 – How can coffee improve lives?

Lesson 3 – Can coffee make the world a better place?

Each lesson can be downloaded as a zipfile – they can be used in conjunction with the website for interactivity where internet access is available or they are also designed to be able to be used off line and there are a range of worksheets / information sheets and powerpoints.