#gaconf13

So, Friday 5 April. The personal treat in the family holiday a visit to The Geographical Association’s annual conference (#gaconf13). My 25th year as a geographer yet my first conference – shhh almost sacrilegious but true. I’ve joined the ICT Special Interest group last year so have a role to drop off the revised Apps list that I updated in February and printed off 150 copies.

A family holiday near a conference, very suspicious but a cottage that we liked last year and an area with plenty still to visit and do. Today was my earliest rise to be on a cold single track station for the 07.40 train.

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A good ride in, as a geographer it was interesting to see where the number of passengers increased the most (Belper and Duffield). Off at Derby and then locate the shuttle buses (coach) to the University venue. Some fellow badge wearers pointed its the green coach we’d walked past. On in time and we were off. Arriving and meeting old friends in the queue to collect the conference handbooks. Then off to the balcony and deposit the apps sheets I had stored at the side of the cottage all week.

Then a chance to slow, look around, get my bearings and the meetings begin – hi to friends and colleagues met previously. Then oh look over there is … As fellow tweeters were pointed out or spotted or my t- shirt ploy worked to show who I was. I gave the first round of talks a miss to stay at the stand and talk to visitors interested in apps or GIS who I would direct to more relevant members of our little team.

A conference is a new experience for me, I’m used to Teachmeets these days where presentation are far more rapid fire.The chance of overload was very probable.

In round 2 I attend the IT workshop I’d agreed to attend as a member of the IT group. Dr Ian Cook, Mary Biddulph and a gathering of PGCE students who introduced/ reviewed/ explained the site followthethings.com. the session was advertised as Teaching trade. I liked the site but was initially scared by the depth of information. Not KS3 or 4 friendly for many but then I discovered links to Mission Explore and the blog with examples of use.

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Now here there were clear possibilities including the lego movies. I chatted with Ian about using the materials in co-construction lessons as explained by @headguruteacher on Twitter and through his blog, who I have the pleasure of hosting Teachmeet Essex with. Also where student leaders are encouraged to take learning responsibility in the classroom, as being developed at my current school. I also promoted the idea of. More geographers participating and sharing their practice at Teachmeets.

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