Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Teaching Geography in a Digital World

I had a sneak preview of Paul Turner's new iBook a few days ago, and it's now out, and available on iTunes at 'my favourite price'.
This is a really nice summary of some of the best tools out there for teachers wanting to find out about technology that can help.

I particularly like p.54 :)

Well done Mr. Turner !

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Project Meeting and Workshop at the GA Conference

Our I-USE Workshop took place on Wednesday morning.
We'd like to thank the people who came along and tried out the toolkit and had a chance to see the work done so far.
More to come in the next few blog posts...

Image: Alan Parkinson

Project Meeting 4 - some aspects of the TOOLBOX

The first day of the GA Conference was a sunny day. After breakfast in the hotel, we walked through Guildford to the University and our meeting room.

One of the outcomes of the meeting was the Workshop which was delivered at the GA Conference on the Wednesday of conference. We spent time finalising this, and also taking a look at some of the tools that were produced as part of the website.

Head to the website and click on TOOLS.

This tool allows users to create a map from their own data, with remarkable ease and speed. Once entered, data will be visualised in a number of formats, added to a map if location data is available, and made available to download as a CSV file for use in other tools and applications.
There is a simple format that is required for the data entry.
Enter years in the following format e.g. ,2012,2013,2014 would plot the years 2012-2014
Note the use of a comma at the start of the line
On the following lines, enter the data header, followed by the data itself, separated by commas
Click SUBMIT to see the data as a table, then choose from the options at the top to create graphs or maps, and download the data.
Try it now.
User Guide for this process will be available shortly.

Also a reminder of the FACEBOOK group, which has over 70 members, and which you are free to join to keep up with the action. Why not join now.
Also follow our Twitter feed: @StatsinEdu

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Statistics in Geography in the UK

Out workshop at the GA Conference for the I-USE project was aimed at developing teachers' ability in statistical literacy through the use of the I-USE website.

Statistics were in many geographers's minds last week, when the new GCSE Subject Content guidance for Geography was released. This included a range of new guidance on fieldwork in Geography.

Appendix: Use of mathematics and statistics in geography 

The list below outlines the range and extent of mathematical and statistical techniques considered appropriate to geography GCSE. The following should all be covered in any specification.

Examples in bold are to aid understanding and suggest range, and these are not compulsory. 

Cartographic skills 
 use and understand gradient, contour and spot height on OS maps and other isoline maps (e.g. weather charts, ocean bathymetric charts) 
 interpret cross sections and transects
 use and understand coordinates, scale and distance
 describe and interpret geo-spatial data presented in a GIS framework (e.g. analysis of flood hazard using the interactive maps on the Environment Agency website)

Graphical skills 
 select and construct appropriate graphs and charts to present data, using appropriate scales and including bar charts, pie charts, pictograms, line charts, histograms with equal class intervals
 interpret and extract information from different types of graphs and charts including any of the above and others relevant to the topic (e.g. triangular graphs, radial graphs, wind rose diagrams, proportional symbols) 
 interpret population pyramids, choropleth maps and flow-line maps

Numerical skills 
 demonstrate an understanding of number, area and scale and the quantitative relationships between units
 design fieldwork data collection sheets and collect data with an understanding of accuracy, sample size and procedures, control groups and reliability
 understand and correctly use proportion and ratio, magnitude and frequency (e.g. 1:200 flood; and logarithmic scales such as the Richter scale, in orders of magnitude) 
 draw informed conclusions from numerical data

Statistical skills 
 use appropriate measures of central tendency, spread and cumulative frequency (median, mean, range, quartiles and inter-quartile range, mode and modal class)
 calculate percentage increase or decrease and understand the use of percentiles
 describe relationships in bivariate data: sketch trend lines through scatter plots; draw estimated lines of best fit; make predictions; interpolate and extrapolate trends
 be able to identify weaknesses in selective statistical presentation of data

One of the outcomes from the Geographical Association partner, via Alan Parkinson, will be to ensure that the I-USE website is linked with these outcomes, so that the use of the website will enable GCSE Geographers to cover these.

This will only form a small part of the overall work on the I-USE project, as we have broader aims to support teachers in a range of curriculum subjects, in a number of European locations. 

Follow us on Twitter @StatsinEdu for more details

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Want to know more about our project ?

Here's our information leaflet, which describes the project and its various component parts.

Meeting 4 - Guildford, UK - Arrival and first day

The I-USE project partners are meeting in Guildford for the 4th meeting of the project.

This is timed to coincide with the Geographical Association's Annual Conference as the GA is one of the partners in this project.
The partners met at the Angel Hotel in Guildford, and caught up with progress on the project so far.
If you are at the conference, come along to the session that we are leading on Wednesday morning at 9am.
Details below:

Check out the project website.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

GA Conference 2014

The I-USE team will be at the University of Surrey in Guildford between the 14th and 16th of April for the Geographical Association Conference.
We will be meeting at a hotel close to the conference venue, and also attending various events as part of the conference.
We will be distributing materials relating to the project at various events that are running as part of the conference, so look out for an I-USE flyer, leaflet or card.

Our workshop will take place on Wednesday the 16th of April in the morning, during the first session of the day.
We'll be sharing some of the work so far, and offering people the chance to engage with the project.

One of the main activities at the meeting will be the creation of some materials for some face to face and online training related to the critical use of statistics and data.
Come and say hello if you're a delegate at the conference.