Friday, January 18, 2019

GIS in Schools

Grace Healy has a piece in the latest issue of IMPACT: the journal of the Chartered College of Teaching.
The majority of each issue can be read online, which for me negated some of the benefits of membership, as the journal was one of the few tangible 'benefits' of membership.

This issue is on the theme of Ed-tech: education technology.

Grace's piece, written with Nicola Walshe, is on the use of GIS.

Nicola has previously done quite a lot of work on GIS, and I've been to speak to Homerton students when she was the tutor there, about my use of technology in the classroom.

Read the GIS piece here, or follow the earlier link to access all the open access pieces from this issue. There's a piece by David Rogers on the cloud and CPD, and one by the wonderful Steve Bunce too, but you'll need to be a member to read those...

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Science of Where

The use of computers in the teaching of Geography

I've used this document in a few recent events, when I've been talking about technology in the Geography classroom. I wrote it as an assessment piece as part of my PGCE at the University of Hull 1986-7. There are large sections which are still relevant today, or which are a reminder of some of the 'dead ends' or challenges that still face those using technology in teaching.
Here's a slide clipped from the presentation I use, showing some of my own technology journey:

Please note that the original version had diagrams pritt-sticked onto it - this was the days before DTP was well established and available and I could only draw using standard characters. Those diagrams aren't available any more, but some could probably be located, along with some of the documents in the references.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

GIS and the NEA

IAPS - GIS course

This course may be of interest to some readers of the blog.

IAPS Geography – Geographic Information System (GIS) for Prep Schools which is due to take place on Thursday 29 November 2018 at Abingdon School, Park Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 1DE

The aim of this course is to make the purpose of GIS representation clearer for teaching Years 5, 6,7 and 8.  Delegates will discover how simple GIS skills will help prepare pupils moving to senior schools have the relevant skills.  Following an introduction to GIS, there will be practical sessions using the specialised computer room in Abingdon School’s Geography Department. 

Delegates will take away new ideas on how they can use GIS in their geography lessons and how mapping and the use of GIS can enhance their pupils’ geographical knowledge and understanding.

Full programme and map is attached for your information. 

For further details or to book online please visit

Friday, October 05, 2018

ArcGIS: a new free how-to guide

This free resource can be obtained from TES Resources.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Project World

There are plenty of ways of seeing the world, and a growing range of tools which allow the user to explore map projections. Check out Project World. Remix the image in your browser and download it.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Mr Williams' KML layers

Thanks for sharing these new layers for Google Earth.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


As part of my GetOutside Champions work with the Ordnance Survey, I have the chance to do various exciting things. There are various outdoor events which the Ordnance Survey is represented at this year, such as Countryfile Live last week.
I've been sent an OS Trail model GPS to check out. This can be seen here.
The device has a rugged rubberised case, with finger grips moulded into it, making it easy and comfortable to hold. The screen is smaller than an iPhone or typical Android device, but is bright and clear.
The device needs to be connected to WiFi to set up (and download any updates) This was the first thing thing my device did, and it took a while to get up and running.
The touch screen is fairly responsive, although sometimes requires a slightly harder 'press' than a smartphone screen, although it is designed to be tougher, and water and dust resistant, and also to be seen in bright sunshine. The on-screen keyboard is a little small, and needs a little care to select the correct letter.
Battery life seemed to be very good and one charge lasted for quite a few days of light use.

OS Trail GPS detailed view

Some users will be particularly requiring some of the additional features.
There is a feature which will guide rescuers to the device should there be a need to do that, which might give some users reassurance. This is called SeeMe - see details below.
Map tiles can be downloaded to a device using a free piece of software which needs to be downloaded for Mac or Windows.

Trail also includes advanced features through FullConnect™, including Ant+™, Bluetooth® Smart, GPRS and Wi-Fi, so you can easily connect accessories and share your location and performance with friends in real-time.
You also get exclusive access to SeeMe along with a 6-month free subscription to get you started. Use SeeMe to broadcast your location with up to 20 people and share with them your routes and stats including distance, altitude, heart rate, power and more. You can also send your exact location via email and SMS should you get into trouble, with I.C.E (In Case of Emergency).
On top of all this, you get OS 1:250k base mapping for the whole of Great Britain, 6 x OS 1:25k free map tiles, a 6-month free subscription to SeeMe and a 3-year free subscription to our award-winning OS Maps.

A great option for those wanting a hand held GPS device.