I made a New Year promise to include a regular slot in my blog for 2014, called my ‘monthly WARP’. This is based on an acronym where the ‘W’ stands for a web resource, the ‘A’ for an app, the ‘R’ for a reading resource, and the ‘P’ for a photograph or image.
My final WARP – for the month of December – consists of the following:
My final web site offering of playbuzz.com is a playful one, although I have found a use for it in school. The site is jam-packed with a range of interactive quiz questions, the answers to which leading on to a light- hearted conclusion. If you sift through the masses, there are some tests that can be completed with minimum embarrassment by students – as well as some for parents and teaching staff. The link above takes you to the quiz which asks ‘What country bets fits your personality?’, and asks a series of questions about lifestyle, diet, hobbies etc. I have asked fellow teachers to complete the test to provide a range of answers for students to map and research. It provides a great ‘pair the answer with the teacher’ lesson! Students then took control, and wanted to gather results for their parents and carers, and friends of the family. It proved a useful resource to keep in the locker for emergency lesson cover or bad weather days.
My test results matched me to New Zealand – a country I was not disappointed with. The final conclusion states: “You are an adventurous individual who enjoys being outdoors and spending time being active. You are a risk taker and have no problem striking up a conversation with a total stranger. When you travel you love to get to know the locals, and their customs, and are always up for a challenge. You thrive in a culture where others share your deep appreciation for land, and believe life is best lived outdoors.” I can live with that without embarrassment. Try it for yourself, and see which country you are matched with. What country in the world would you most NOT want to be associated with?
The final app I have chosen to highlight is ‘SloPro’ – which started as a ‘ phone app, but is now fully functional on a tablet. This piece of magic software allows you to use the film function on your device, and then slow the action (or speed it up) as is required. I have used it for fun in the speed up mode, but the slow motion tool has really helped students and myself create more meaningful explanation films of things like river flow and wave action. The end results are easily uploaded onto You Tube – really useful if your department has its own You Tube channel.
Slo Pro is free (‘my favourite price’ as @GeoBlogs taught me) to download, but for a £2.49 upgrade, you can free up extra functionality like the ability to export your movies to the camera roll, the absence of watermarks, and ability to e-mail videos. Modern ‘phones like the I Phone 6 now include much of the functionality of programmes like this.
My final book offering returns me again to my love of polar environments, and is ‘The Worst Journey in the World’ by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. This is a version of Scott’s last expedition to the Antarctic, from its departure from England in 1910 to its arrival in New Zealand in 1913. Cherry-Garrard was himself a member of the expedition, which was plagued by bad luck, poor weather conditions and disappointment. This is an ‘inside story’ to one of the most famous and tragic journeys in the annals of exploration.
“If sufficient momentum was gained the ship rode upon the thicker floes, rising up upon it and pressing it down beneath her, until suddenly, perhaps when its nearest edge was almost amidships, the weight became too great and the ice split beneath us. At other times a tiny crack, no larger than a vein, would run shivering from our bows, which widened and widened until the whole ship passed through without difficulty. Always when below one heard the grumbling of the ice as it passed along the side. But it was slow work, and hard on the engines. There were days when we never moved at all.” (page 74)
More photos from my travels can be seen at:
Although I do not intend to continue with my monthly WARP in 2015, I will continue to highlight interesting web sites and tablet apps I come across in monthly blogs. I am always happy to receive ideas and suggestions from other geographers – so if you come across anything special, give me a shout!