Friday, 27 February 2009

Global Rich List: How rich are you?

Every year we gaze enviously at the lists of the richest people in world. Wondering what it would be like to have that sort of cash. But where would you sit on one of those lists? Here's your chance to find out, go to the Global Rich List.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Year 10 ICT lesson: Revisiting Development

You have today's lesson to put together a PowerPoint presentation that explores a development indicator of your choice. Be creative, however, and try to choose one that is a bit different to those that we have studied previously!

What to include?

1. Use gapminder (click on 'Gapminder World') to explore any relationships between your development indicator, and other indicators of development. Use the drop down lists on the two axis to select your indicator and the one(s) that you want to compare with. Include a copy of any graphs that you have created, and write a description to describe and explain what it shows.

2. Use worldmapper to create a map of your development indicator and its global pattern. Again, make sure that you include a copy of the map, with a description and explanation of what it shows.

3. Use CIA World Factbook to create a list of 8 countries and the data for that country related to your indicator. Are there any patterns? Are there any that do not fit a pattern? Why might this be? Some of you will be able to create a graph to show the data you have researched.

4. Finish your PowerPoint with 3-5 bullet points that summarise what you found out about your development indicator.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Is it going to rain?

Thanks to Victoria Ellis who has discovered this site via Twitter...pure genius!!

Google Earth 5

Google Earth 5 is available to download and includes many new features, including
  • Historical imagery from around the world
  • Ocean floor and surface data from marine experts (see image)
  • Simplified touring with audio and voice recording

Friday, 20 February 2009

Real life 'Slumdog Millionaire'

I don't seem to be able to see anything any more without thinking about how it might be useful in our Geography lessons. I went to see Slumdog Millionaire a couple of weeks ago, as I've already discussed with some of you! I've been thinking about how best it can be used and have contemplated reinventing the 'Are the streets of Kolkata paved in gold?' unit to reflect Slumdog Millionaire instead but will have to wait until the DVD is released. Athough it is a 15 cert, it would be possible, with some careful scene selection and parental consent, to craft a new unit of work around this film for the year 9 curriculum! Scenes that are particularly relevant include one where the children are running through the slums, as well as one in which call centre staff are being trained in 'Britishness' almost, by learning about Kat and Alfie in EastEnders!

BBC News reported the real life slumdogs and featured the child stars of the film who were paid £3,000 each. Let's remember this is a film that has made $140 million at the Box Office! Watch the report HERE.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Another mobile phone fact!

Following my earlier post about the changes in mobile phone technology, here's a video with a warning about charging your mobile phones overnight...

Thanks to Alan Parkinson.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Geography and technology: The evolution of mobile phones

The Geography department is soon going to be working together with the Technology department on a project that covers both subjects (cross curricular). One direction we might go in is the idea of technology and the throw away culture. I just checked my Twitter and MFCowan, one of the teachers I'm following, had just 'tweeted' a link to this excellent YouTube video showing the evolution of the mobile phone from 1985 to the present day. Look out for the statistics of how many phones are discarded every year - shocking!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Geography in the News: How did the snow affect the south west of the UK?

Most classes in years 7-9 had this second lesson about some of the impacts the snow had on our region. Just sharing for the teachers that use this blog...
I'm afraid it was a very quick effort as I was running out of steam near the end of the half term, but it seemed to work fairly well.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Geography in the News: Let it Snow!

This is the first of two lessons in relation to the recent extreme weather events affecting the UK. It is tenuously linked to students personal geography - but bearing in mind that many students will still find themselves snowed in tomorrow, it should do just fine!

And here's the Snow in Okehampton movie that features in the PowerPoint!

Telegraph TV: Britain's week of snow

A useful report that tracks the story of the snow throughout last week...

The G Word...Emirates advert!

Geography mentioned in the new Emirates advert in reference to Dubai!

Thanks to SLNer Oceana for highlighting this!

Great Photo Generator!

Been sidetracked this morning by this new photo generator. I've used a couple of the snow pictures...

Thanks to Liz Smith via Alan Parkinson for highlighting this new tool!

Friday, 6 February 2009

The snow returns with a vengeance!

It was about 10pm last night when a friend of mine said to turn on Sky News where the breaking news was that 200 cars were trapped on Haldon Hill! This is an area where two roads - the A38 from Plymouth, and the A380 from the Torbay area (including my home town of Teignmouth) - come together at the bottom of a very steep hill. Okehampton experienced 22inches (55cm) over Thursday evening and today. The speed at which the snow fell and quickly settled took everyone by surprise!
Snow brings another day of chaos

Here's some pictures from Germansweek (from Mr Palmer) and Okehampton (from Mr Smith - Science)!



Mrs Fairley has taken these photos of her garden at different times after the snow started falling in Okehampton!

10pm Thursday Evening

6:45am Friday Morning
10:30am Friday Morning
Again, any more photos from staff and students welcome!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Tony Cassidy's pop up model of a hurricane

On Monday morning (before we were all sent home because of the snow!), my year 11 class had a go at Tony Cassidy's hurricane model.
I took the opportunity to try our my Flip video and digital camera! Check out the following footage to see the results. Students do have their coats on due to the sub zero temperatures we were faced with on Monday morning, before my heating kicked in! At the end of the lesson, students explained the formation of a hurricane to the person next to them as no one would volunteer to be videoed explaining their models. Fortunately, I managed to catch Jack's explanation!

I also photographed Rudi's and Ness's as examples of the finished article...

With thanks to Tony Cassidy for sharing this lesson.

The weather outside is frightful...

We continue today to be affected by the snow showers. This morning I battled the weather to get to school. I listened carefully to Radio Devon and had a few chats with some of the other teachers, but finally decided to give the journey a go. I managed to drive out of my road, only to skid into the pavement in the next road. After three attempts to pull away again, I was Okehampton bound. The roads had been gritted well overnight and the sky was blue! I was beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about. Well, when approaching Whiddon Down a light flurry of snow started falling, but then got heavier and heavier! I turned off the A30 heading for Okehampton and could barely see the car in front of me. The snow had settled on the roads incredibly quickly and it was difficult to see where the road ended and the pavements began. It took 25 minutes to get from Whiddon Down to the school (normally 7 minutes). There were cars facing all directions and a lorry that had skidded. My wheels were locking every time I pressed the brake. I eventually got into the school car park and swerved my way into a space. The freak snow shower quickly passed and this was what was left...

The difficult decision was made to send all students home and many staff did the same due to the unpredictable nature of these snow showers. As for me, my journey home was possibly more eventful than the one there! The snow I'd travelled through on the way in was quickly being thawed by the glorious sunshine. However, the snow started again when I got to the 50mph speed limit along the A30. By the time I'd got to the A380 at Haldon Hill, it was heavier than it had been in the morning. Cars were queued for a couple of miles trying to slide their way down the hill towards Exeter. Fortunately I was going the other way. I turned off the dual carriageway onto the Teignmouth road which was thick with snow. I dropped down to 5mph. A car coming the other way had it's hazard lights on and stopped me, saying several cars had skidded into each other further down the road and it was impassable. I did a 3-point turn (of sorts!) and headed back the way I came. I found an alternative route and finally arrived in Teignmouth where the sky was blue and the sun shining - yet 3 miles down the road there were dark skies, snow and traffic chaos!

To keep yourself up to date with the weather for the rest of this week, use the following links...

BBC Weather 5 day forecast for Okehampton
SW England Severe Weather Warnings

Let us hear your stories of the snow by adding a comment to this post! If you have any pictures of our wintry weather, please email them to me (both students and staff) and I'll add them to the blog.

Here's our first contribution. Mrs Clayton's wonderful snowman...someone has been busy!
Here's our next contribution. Thank you Mr Palmer!

And another one...Ms Murray-Jude this time!

Thanks to Emma Siddall (Year 12) for these pictures of the snow in Sheepwash!