#gaconf13 part 2

Morning break and back to the balcony above the exhibition to share apps lists and refer interested parties to speak to Bob Lang about GIS. Caught up with Rob Morris (@lodgemeister) who’d spotted the tshirt earlier. Also caught up with Prffr David Lambert who’d tutored me on the MA at IoE 23 years ago.

My next workshop was Getting our geographers ready for tomorrow led by Becky, Beth and Emma from the secondary phase committee. I liked their ideas about looking forwards in activities, it matched ideas proposed by Dawn Hallybone in our Geografree Teachmeet takeover at Bett13.

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Also met two guys from Essex who’d driven up that morning – possible TMEssex conscripts? Tony Cassidy introduced himself as sat at back of room so we met at last. Looking forward to his shared workshop later.

Made quite a few notes to go away with and also chatted about Solo and need to follow uplinks with Simon Renshaw. The careers cards from GA and RGS clearly have a longer term career link prior to options.

Off to lunch and found ourselves near the front1/3 of the queue which proved a great move after seeing how long the queue became later. Chat with a mix of people including meeting Richard Allaway at last. Then off to look around at least some of the exhibition and met up with Emma Rawling-Smith whose talk I hoped to attend at the end of the day.

The exhibition showed that those Icelandic tweets all week represented lots of trips on offer. Signed up to a range of information sources but I managed to limit myself to one box file of leaflets. Lots of sources I am already signed up to.

While browsing at the GA stand I spied a face that looked familiar. Could it be? So I asked are you Nigel? It was indeed – Nigel Bennett PGCE Leicester Uni 1987/88 with myself – one of a few who have kept in touch and there we were 25 years on still both teaching. Nostalgia ensued with memories of field trips to London Docklands and the Lake District. These linked to some pics I had rediscovered recently with our great tutor Patrick Bailey and the power of the chalk drawn diagrams we used to have to do to show ideas.

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Fieldwork and the ranging poles.

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Tutoring in field sketching – typical the physical geog/geol students taking photos of the human geographers in our territory.

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The purpose of the diagram(one of my best ever) to show the group what the OS map information meant about our proposed walk up Scafell Pike the next day. That day will always live on in my memories and as Nigel said the risk assessment process today does not bear thinking about.

We set off together for the Pearson lecture by David Lambert. for two older guys we beat the lift on the stairs leaving many younger geographers in our wake. The lecture was essentially about how the GA and curriculum plans are achanging. Not for the first time in our careers. Essentially,a chance for geographers to mould what and how they teach so pupils gain a geographical core knowledge and include experiential skills as well. Time will always be a factor in this but it did clearly show how as a subject many ideas have been discussed and shared overtime putting us in a stronger position than other subjects in the curriculum.

Now for the IT based workshops with friends leading. Down the B block stairs 3 floors, over to the N block and up 4 flights of stairs ( ah this will explain weariness later). Workshop 20 App’ening geography led by Alan (@geoblogs) Parkinson and Katy Shipman. Earlier Alan had taken a pile of the apps sheets from our ICT stand and distributed the as part of this session. Some good background and resources were shared. It was interesting after spending a lot of time at Teachmeets how the baseline of app and mobile device experience in the session was lower than I had anticipated. Thanks to Alan for mentioning the overlap between the secondary committee and ICT group. I also made requests re. Teachmeet involvement (again!) and. Any Android or non Apple apps users to contact me so future GA lists could be more representative of the range of devices teachers may encounter. I encouraged people on my table to contact me so I could share geography app presentations used previously that included ideas suitable for primary and secondary use.

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Suggested categories for app use – also see the apps list on the GA site ( newest list at conference not uploaded yet).

Now to zoom to the most anticipated meet up of my day. In between leaving files in rooms and retrieving my bag from downstairs another 8 flights of stairs and rest! Workshop 26 Two (hundred) heads are better than one: the power of collaboration led by Alan Parkinson, Tony Cassidy and John Sayers. Three names synonymous for those of us active online with outstanding contributions over a period of time. As the room started to fill it was initially the twitter collective very clearly. The presenters divided up their time. Alan led off, then Tony with a great pound land pedagogy activity and finally the resource table that others have pictured with John. What can I say? Inspired as always by three amazing and inspiring practitioners. Ideas galore and yes John could have presented for hours. Thank you gentlemen for a memorable session. We overran so a slower departure meant that Emma’s vignettes were missed but we waited around to see her after.

John, gave me a lift into the city centre, we found the Beermeet venue and I had one drink before the train. We met up with Angus Wilson,Nigel Bennett, Bob Lang and others arriving as I left. I tried blogging on the train but honestly brain and physically drained. Thank you to the GA for a grand day out. Surrey 2014 I need to be there and how do I book up to lead a workshop? Yes I am hooked.

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