Global Carbon Footprint Infographic

This is a great infographic to use in lessons or as part of classroom display.

It is sourced from the following web site, where you can also find some notes of explanation:

http://www.core77.com

global-carbon-footprint-graphic

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Free Climate Change Classroom Poster

Another great freebee from Rayburn Tours!

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Download a free climate change poster to use as a classroom resource here:

climate-change-poster

Or download it from the Rayburn blog site:

http://www.rayburntours.com/education/blog/geography/5-countries-affected-climate-change-2/#more-3972

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Geo Lists For The Classroom

Every New Year seems to generate a range of lists. Here are a few that I have come across over the last month or so that might have a use in the classroom. They can make good lesson starters, contribute to class displays, or provoke discussion questions.

 

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Taj Mahal (CCO Public Domain)

 

Rough Guide’s ‘Must See’ destinations for 2017

1. India

2. Scotland

3. Canada

4. Uganda

5. Bolivia

6. Nicaragua

7. Portugal

8. Finland

9. Namibia

10. Taiwan

 

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Bangkok (CCO Public Domain)

 

Most Visited Cities 2016

(According to Mastercard’s  Global Destination Cities Index, which provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world, measured by the number of international overnight visitors).

1) Bangkok, Thailand – 21.47 million international visitors

2) London, England – 19.88

3) Paris, France – 18.03

4) Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 15.27

5) New York City, USA – 12.75

6) Singapore – 12.11

7) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 12.02

8) Istanbul, Turkey – 11.95

9) Tokyo, Japan – 11.70

10) Seoul, South Korea – 10.20

11) Hong Kong, China – 8.37

12) Barcelona, Spain – 8.20

13) Amsterdam, Netherlands – 8.00

14) Milan, Italy – 7.65

15) Taipei, Taiwan – 7.5

16) Rome, Italy – 7.12

17) Osaka, Japan – 7.02

18) Vienna, Austria – 6.69

19) Shanghai, China – 6.12

20) Prague, Czech Republic – 5.81

Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/these-are-the-worlds-most-visited-cities-in-2016/

 

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Godafoss, Iceland (CCO Public Domain)

 

Ten Safest Countries To Visit In Europe

‘Trip Creator’ has compiled this list by using the annual report on the safety of countries around the world produced by The Institute for Economics and Peace. Of the top 25 countries listed on the latest ‘Global Peace Index’, 18 are in Europe. In other words, in spite of recent news reports to the contrary, traveling through much of Europe remains one of the safer options for tourists. As a point of reference, for instance, the United States comes in at 103rd on the Global Peace Index.

1.      Iceland

2.      Denmark

3.      Austria

4.      Portugal

5.      Czech Republic

6.      Switzerland

7.      Slovenia

8.      Finland

9.      Ireland

10.  Sweden

Incidentally, the other European nations that are in the top 25 of the Global Peace Index are: Germany, Norway, Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain

Source: https://blog.tripcreator.com/safest-countries-in-europe/

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My Favourite Brain Breaks

Sometimes when I am working on a project I feel like taking a bit of a break. It seems to help relieve some tension, and refreshes my mind so that I can continue with the task at hand. In these breaks I turn to one of my favourite ‘brain break’ activities – or ‘timewasters’ as some would call them!

thttjwsaerMy first port of call is an app called ‘Incredibox’, where you can mix your own music by selecting from a band of beatbox characters. It is also available as a web site:

http://www.incredibox.com/

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This site is actually used by music teachers to teach rhythm and music structure, and you might be surprised at how easy it is to turn out some fantastic results. I have recorded some of my best efforts to use as ‘soundtracks’ for class presentations. Give it a try!

My second ‘brain break’ is a little more geographical, and can be quite addictive. It is called ‘Land Lines’ and is found at:

https://lines.chromeexperiments.com/

This site is an experiment that allows you to explore Google Earth satellite imagery by drawing random lines on the screen. ‘Land Lines’ then finds satellite images to match your line – magic! If you want to, you can then click on the image to be transported there for a closer look.

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You can also drag a line to connect coastlines, rivers, roads etc in a continuous random journey.

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This site runs well on a smart phone to fill those spare moments waiting for the train etc.

A couple of other sites for you:

www.jigsawplanet.com – Screen jigsaws of locations across the world

www.playlinkee.com – (I use the IOS version) – Answer 4 questions and then work the link to your answers

http://www.locatethatlandmark.com/ – Locate famous landmarks on a map of the UK

https://www.geoguessr.com/ – Search for clues to name the location on a satellite image

 

 

 

 

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Real Time GB Electricity Data

Any geographers out there teaching about energy might like to give some attention to the ‘MyGridGB’ web site which has been set up by Doctor Andrew Crossland. The site displays the real time changes in the way electricity is generated in Great Britain,  as power stations respond to changing demands and changing weather patterns.

http://www.mygridgb.co.uk/

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The MyGB site shows the volume of electricity produced and consumed, as well as the sources from where the electricity has been generated. As well as the real time dials illustrated above, there is a great deal of historical data to explore (see graphs below). The site also charts carbon emissions from electricity generation, and the section titled ‘Manifesto ‘ on the side menu shows some possible alternatives through a simulation of a mix of power stations and energy sources.

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If you are a Twitter user, you can follow @myGridGB and get an automatic update of GB energy generation every 4 hours. Below is the latest tweet I received at 9.00 am today. It is interesting to see how these figures change during the day, week and season, and it might be a nice exercise in the classroom matching up the data with recent weather patterns.

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You can also sign up to get a weekly update on GB energy as well as a copy of the regular blog. Great work Doctor Andrew – really useful resource for the classroom!

PS there is a similar dashboard style resource at: http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

This makes an impressive image on the whiteboard for the class as they walk into your room!

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Devon’s First Nature School

16174589_1826107964323475_2208940747355060065_nI was interested to read this week of a proposal to open Devon’s first ‘Nature School’ near Okehampton. The plans are for a combined nursery and primary school aimed at children aged 3 to 11 years on the ‘free school’ model.

The ‘Okehampton Nature School’  would be a mainstream school following the National Curriculum, but one which would put outdoor learning and the natural environment at the heart of a high quality education.

Ofsted have reported that learning outside the classroom contributes significantly to raising standards in schools, including improvements in pupils personal, social and emotional development.

The Devon Wildlife Trust is instrumental in instigating this exciting new venture, and is now talking to local people and schools in the Okehampton area to gauge support for their proposal. A public consultation event is planned in Okehampton for February 24th, and further information can be found at the following web site:

http://natureschools.org.uk/devon.html

This new development was of particular interest to me, as next September my Grandson will start school for the first time. I have recently visited some local primary schools with my daughter in order to make an informed choice of his first school, and the decision we agreed upon was heavily swayed by one school’s high priority on ‘Forest School’ and a commitment to outdoor education.

I look forward to watching the Okehampton School move from plan to reality, and wish it every success.

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VR Headsets To Lose Their Smartphones?

It was never going to be long before VR designers came up with the technology that would get past the need for a smart phone in a headset.

Although there are now many affordable VR headsets on the market, perhaps one of the major barriers to the use of VR in schools has been the need for a large set of smart phones. Well, it now looks as though this will be a thing of the past.

A number of manufacturers are now bringing their phone-free headsets to market, and following the recent BETT show in London, one in particular has caught my attention.

screenhunter_03-feb-02-09-30screenhunter_01-feb-02-09-29ClassVR offers all-in-one headsets that are wirelessly managed and controlled by their own software package called ClassConnect, which includes structured lesson plans for a range of curriculum subjects. I particularly like the storage case that comes with the package, allowing the headsets to be kept safe and charged, as well as easily transported between classrooms across the school.

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Log on to their web site for more information, or book a demonstration:

http://www.classvr.com/

There are a number of other manufacturers striving to take a lead role with this cutting edge technology. For instance, Samsung is believed to be close to releasing a headset that does not need to be connected to a phone or PC, and Alcatel has developed the Vision headset as a standalone device – as well as developing a 360 degree camera that plugs directly into a smart phone. I will also be watching the progress of the AuraVisor – which has been launched through a Kickstarter campaign – and instead of a phone, is powered by an Android-based computer.

No doubt progress in this area will be rapid – and as new developments become available, there is likely to be significant impacts on how VR may be used in the classroom. Watch this space!

 

 

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