Saturday, 29 November 2008

Where's Santa?

'NORAD tracks Santa' goes live at 11am on 1st December at where you can find new games and activities every day leading up to Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve, get up-to-the-minute reports and streaming videos from key stops on Santa's trip around the world. Google software will output live images from NORAD's high-speed digital “Santa Cams," and Google Maps and Google Earth will follow Santa as he travels around the world.

Here's a glimpse from last year!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Year 13 Coursework Report advice

I will keep adding ideas, links and resources to this post to help you with your coursework report. There is an excellent guide to the report writing, which includes a model coursework report that achieved 55/60, which you can collect from my room. This post will be divided into sections according to the question.

For all of you, here is a site from another school with advice on the coursework report. Although it is from a different year so the questions are different, the advice remains the same.

1. To what extent is an unfair world trading system the root cause of the widening development gap between very rich and very poor countries? (Alex)

Here's a useful clip from BBC Learning Zone connected to trade patterns for rich and poor countries. Refering to various sources will give you a greater range of evidence.

For all of you, check if there are any clips relevant to your reports here.

Don McKinnon: Trade is a potent tool in combating global poverty The Independent
Rich nations 'renege on pledge to reform trade and help poor' The Independent
Leading article: Fair trade is growing – and working The Independent
Hamish McRae: Free trade is not just about goods. It is also about money, services - and people The Independent
World Trade: Facts and Figures The Independent

Great article from Voice of America news - The Global Rich and Poor Gap Widens
Detailed article from infochange Consumption on a global scale: The gap widens
Africa's natural resources are a potential gold mine The Independent

2. Aid which supports grassroots development is usually the best way to improve the quality of life for deprived groups. Evaluate this statement using examples from contrasting locations. (Beth and Daisy)

A fantastic case study of a grassroots project in which plastic bags scavenged from rubbish tips in Delhi, India, are made into fashionable bags sold in London boutiques!
From bags to riches: the recycling project which starts in India's rubbish tips The Independent

If you do a search on the World Bank website for 'grassroots development', several articles appear about developments in Papua New Guinea.

3. To what extent is the North-South divide (the Brandt line) still relevant when analysing disparities at a global scale? (Jon and Elliot)

China 'can be engine of growth' BBC News
This report from the World Socialist Website discusses global inequality in wealth, with a short mention of internal disparity in the USA - Report documents extreme levels of global wealth inequality

Don't forget all of you, you can add any questions you might have regarding your coursework report using the comments option at the end of this post!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

River Exe flood prevention scheme - a Google Earth Tour

On another blog, Digital Geography, there's a link to a kmz file that overlays a tour on Google Earth of the flood prevention scheme on the lower River Exe. Here's a couple of screen shots to show you what's in store!

If you do not have Google Earth, download it here. Thanks to Noel Jenkins for creating this excellent tour!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Figure 3 Future changes in the Arctic region

Here's the colour figure for your current exam question practice...

Thank you very much for your excellent efforts in Thursday's lesson. Very much appreciated!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Year 12 practice exam question on climate change

On Tuesday afternoon you will have your first experience of the new assessment materials/exam questions for the World at Risk unit. As promised, these are your key areas of revision...
  • short, medium and long term methods of investigating climate change
  • the arguments for natural or human causes of climate change/global warming

Here are two absolutely fantastic learning zone clips from the BBC which support everything we covered when learning about the above two bullet points...

1. Evidence of climate change: This clip looks at two main pieces of evidence for climate change; the effects of temperature on tree ring widths over the shorter term and ice cores as evidence of longer term fluctuations. It finishes by sugeesting that continental drift has a part to play over the longest time scale.

2. Causes of climate change: The clip covers climate change over a range of timescales Long term changes include changes in the suns output, the orbit of the earth, the tilt of the earths axis, wobble in the earth's axis of rotation. The clip finishes by looking at how changes in albedo and increased urbanisation and industry have influenced global warming through increased pollution.

Dawn French uses to the G word!

I have just embarked on my reading challenge, as set for me by some of the lovely 7y4 boys! I'm reading Dawn French's autobiography and was very excited to see that she used the G word! Here's the paragraph...

"I think I was about four years or so when you were posted to RAF Leconfield and we all moved to Yorkshire. Only now do I realise that I've lived in Yorkshire at all - I was so unaware of our personal geography then. I did know it was a long way from Grandma and Grandad French in Plymouth because I clearly remember those endless hours in the car on numerous family visits."

Saturday, 15 November 2008

World population

Year 10 have just started Population. We have started to look at the distribution of the world's population and played population top trumps. We also recorded the world population (using this world population clock) at the start of the lesson and at the end to see the rate at which it is increasing. Here's a couple of useful things related to population. Firstly, a BBC learning zone clip on 'Is the world's population spiralling out of control?'.

(Thanks to Odblog for highlighting this)

Secondly, this is the map that was used to describe the distribution of the most densely and sparsely populated places in the world. The map came from worldmapper where there's a whole host of similar world maps which have been resized to show different characteristics.

Finally, a fantastic tool using statistics to graphially show different characteritics of countries and their population. Here's one showing the relationship between life expectancy and income per person. The size of the circles shows the total population. Click on the graph to play around with the example one, or go to the gapminder site to create your own graph.

Monday, 10 November 2008

The Day After Tomorrow

8x2 have finished their assessment one week before the next rotation, so we are wrapping up the Sustainability unit by looking at the depiction of climate change and the potential effects in the film 'The Day After Tomorrow'. We are ultimately deciding whether it is scientific truth, environmental pressure, or just a disaster movie. Here's the YouTube trailer for the film...

We discussed whether the hailstorm scene in Tokyo is realistic or not. Check out this YouTube video...

Now what do you think?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Geo Challenge on Facebook

For those of you that use Facebook, try adding the Geo Challenge application. It quizzes you on your knowledge of the flags of world, outlines of countries and the location of cities. Be warned though, it is very addictive! Add your scores as a comment on this post...good luck!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

My sustainable house

Two excellent simulations about sustainable housing. Click on the images to take you to the sites!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Using text messaging in your lessons?!

Year 10 tried something a bit different to kick off their first lesson of the new half term...writing geographical text messages. They had to explain the problems that exist in shanty towns in 140 characters (the same as a SMS text message!). Here's an example...

Probs in shanti towns-ovacrowdin leadz 2 spred of diseez.Por facilities n hygeen.High crime lvls n no way of disposin waste-dis leadz 2 pollushun.No wata.Wel poor!
(by Katie Curnow)

A site called lingo2word converts normal language into text language and vice versa. This is what I used for the instructions, but the students had to come up with their text message without any help. It proved rather too tricky for some!

Climate change in our World: A new vision of climate change through Google Earth

Explore and learn about the impacts of climate change and find out how you can make a difference with Climate Change in our World. The Met Office Hadley Centre, British Antarctic Survey and UK Government have harnessed Google Earth technology to present you with an interactive animation showing how climate change and global temperature rises could affect our world over the next 100 years.

When you click on the Met Office or DFID icons, a boxes appear providing various information on how people in that place are coping with the effects of climate change.

Find the KML file that will create the layer for Google Earth here. (Make sure you have Google Earth installed on your computer!). This video demonstrates how to use layer.

Saturday, 1 November 2008


This is a new tool for you to watch out for in your geography lessons. Animoto is a site that allows you to upload images to create a 30 second slideshow.

Here's one I made earlier on the theme of shanty towns; a feature of urban growth that the year 10 are currently studying. If you would like to have a go at your own, click here.

Smart choices for the carbon conscious...

Brought to you by the BBC
Want to know what actions can have the biggest impact on your carbon emissions? Bloom helps you choose actions tailored to your home and lifestyle, then lets you compare them by how much CO2 they save, how cheap they are or how easy other Bloomers have found them.
Experts at the BBC have studied over 50 things you can do to tackle climate change (with many more to follow soon). Each action is represented by a seed. Their 'gardener' will ask questions to identify which ones suit you best. When you find an action you plan to do, or one you've already done, plant the seed and watch it bloom. Your collection of Blooms shows the progress you've made!
Click on the image to go to their site...perhaps you can could have a go as a household?