Geography Presentations on Slideshare

logo_header.gifThis morning we were talking about the Geography Presentations group on slideshare in which staff can share powerpoints. I have now remembered the address (my apologies for earlier) and you can access the presentation group here. Enjoy!

 I have also made the link below active for people to download my guide for setting up a WordPress Blog.


Training Session: Join the Online Revolution (Homerton)

Today (Thurs 20th March) I have been working with trainee Geography teachers at Homerton College, Cambridge, exploring the use of new technologies in enhancing the teaching and learning of geography. My seminar is based on that I gave at the SAGT conference back in October 2007 and I have been exploring the use of websites and Web 2.0 technologies.


If you have just sat through the session I hope it has been useful and has given you some food for thought! Perhaps even some ideas for trying out in your main placement school. Below are the promised links to help you follow up some of the ideas that we have discussed today.


For a detailed overview of the presentation including further links – see the electronic handout I produced when I first presented this at the SAGT 2007 conference back in October. Also use the page links at the top of the blog to explore other uses of new technologies – for example Interactive Whiteboards.

Feedback and Questions

Please feel free to email me or leave comments here if you have any further questions on anything covered in the conference seminar or would like any further information on anything shown during the presentation.

Links to the St Ivo School Geography Department online resources are as follows:

GeoBytes Website – the main portal homepage (with links to all resources)

GeoBytes – AS/A2 Online Learning Community (examples of VLE pages – some of these are login only and are for students at St Ivo – some pages are public) – this was set up as a trial for VLE use in the 2005-2006 academic year. (the department are looking to re-develop this to coincide with teaching the new AS/A2 specifications for teaching in September 2008).

GeoBytesGCSE – a blog to support the OCR A GCSE course – a post is added for each key concept with a summary of key ideas and links to background reading, animations, videos, presentations and revision materials where appropriate.

GeoBlogBytes – my personal teacher blog used to support the specific classes I teach

GeoBytesAdvancedExtension  a blog set up to support students in preparation for the WJEC Advanced Extension Geography Paper

GeoBytesCoursework – a GCSE coursework support blog

GeoBytesTravelandTourism – a new blog, very much in its initial stages set up to support AS/A2 Travel and Tourism students following the Edexcel AS/A2 single and double award.

Creative Commons

Many students are now making use of Movie Maker as well as more common tools such as powerpoint to produce homework presentations. With more and more of our students making use of digital media in homework and classwork, it is essential that we encourage them to be aware of ‘fair use’ of other resources and to be aware of copyright issues.

I have been aware of Creative Commons for a while but I have just come across this excellent presentation explaining Creative Commons as a way in which students can legally use, adapt and share digital media in their work. Thanks to Mark Wolley from “The Big Question” for this.

Mark also acknowledges a number of useful sites for accessing Creative Commons materials, including FlickCC, Creative Commons Database  and The Internet Archive.

The Big Question seems to be a great blog to keep an eye on!

More ‘free’ audio files

Sticking with the sound effects theme having just blogged about SoundTransit, I have also had my attention drawn via IT4L to a ‘free’ source of music available from the National Education Network at , a resource which provides access to over 6000 recordings from known and unknown artists. You will have to be logged into your school computer to access it though – but worth knowing about! Something to try out on Monday!

SoundTransit – Adding Realism to Podcasts..

soundtransit.pngThanks to Joe Dale for the heads up on the SoundTransit website – one I’m really looking forward to exploring and making use of! This is an “online community dedicated to field recording and phonography”. All the sound files on the site come under the Creative Commons Attribution licence enabling and indeed encouraging the sharing and reuse of sounds. The sounds are from the environment around us, and include many of those sounds that we often take for granted, which could be superb for giving a realistic edge to those Geography podcasts or just give an added dimension and provide ambience in the classroom!

The language teaching community have already recognised the potential for using SoundTransit in the classroom, and this excellent article from Nick Peachey provides some great ideas which could easily be adapted for use in the Geography classroom – including the use of sounds to engage students in their own personal geographies – perhaps sounds from the site which they can relate most to? The added bonus is the sounds are tagged to places around the world and you can use the site in two very different ways, either by searching for a particular sound or by ‘booking’ a virtual sound journey – think of the potential! 

I can already think of uses for these sounds water droplets (Moscow) , melting glacier , Moskowsky Railway Station and Taman Negara Rainforest. Try it out and get those creative juices flowing – it would be great to hear people’s ideas for using these in the geography classroom – after all the idea of the site is to create a collaborative resource for sharing and reusing!

The Collaborative Classroom (1) – Wikis

Blogs are great for communicating with others in a one-one format, I certainly wouldn’t be without mine, and I’m really pleased that other departments in school are now starting to use these more. Whilst blogs have a comment function which can be put to good use to get students discussing ideas, what I am now interested in is looking at how new technologies can be used to develop a more collaborative approach; just what Wikis are designed for! I am hoping to start using a Wiki with at least one of my exam classes from September and in the mean time I am keen to get to grips with exactly how wikis work and how best to set them up for use in the classroom. As I carry out my research and look at examples I will try and document my findings here to share ideas and links with others.

I signed up for my own Wiki last year with PBWiki but haven’t had chance to put it to use yet! There are many Wiki sites available and one of the first things I will need to do is to look at which of the Wiki providers will work best for my needs, three of those I have heard most about are PBWiki, Wikispaces and Wetpaint.

As a starting point I have started to compile a set of resources and links for finding out more about the use of Wikis in Education.  The following Wiki etiquette for sudents page provides a great resource for advising students on the way to use a Wiki; from safety, tips to information on responsible use and referencing – an ideal starting point students. There are also lots of ideas here on how to set up your PBwiki for the first time, how to introduce it to students and how best to set up its structure for use with a class of students.

Other useful articles include:

Using Wiki in Education
Ways to use Wiki in Education
Wikis in the Classroom
Wikis – Videos and Powerpoints
Wikis in Education
Educational Wikis
A Wiki Walkthrough