Archive for the ‘Geography’ Category

Recently I wanted my geography students to complete a research report on two aspects of the fishing industry. Aside from the research process I also wanted students to gain some skills in presenting their findings using a web site so aimed to use Weebly. However, Weebly was being rather un co operative and proved too difficult to use so I looked for an alternative – wordpress was my choice. The instructions I gave the students were as follows:

WordPress – using wordpress to present our case study on an aspect of the fishing industry.

is the address of the platform.

gives a good example of what the finished product might look like.

Some instructions for use.

Click on the ‘get started here’ – fill in all the details remembering, but at the end DON’T upgrade, select ‘create blog’.

Once your blog has been created for you here are instructions for the features you will need to use.

The Dashboard is the control panel and you select these following option from here. The ones with # you MUST do as instructed.

Settings # – privacy – choose last option ‘I would like my site to be private, visible only to users I choose’.

Users # – invite new – put my email address here – and my role as a follower. (these settings mean only I can see your site unless you specifically invite others to it. If later you want to keep using this blog you can change the settings)

Users# – my profile (this information is public so be careful) – make sure I can identify the site as yours

Appearance – themes (here you select the way the blog will look, there is lots of choice but you cannot use anything that says it is ‘premium’)

Posts – make a new blog entry – for each subheading you might use in a report create a new blog post – use the title of the post as your subheading

Pages – you will need 2 pages. The home page will be created automatically for you and here is where you will put your information – use the title of the blog entry as a subheading. Create a new page and call it Bibliography – put the details of resources used here – this second page does not have as many features as the home page will, you cannot put separate entries here.

You can add pictures and embed video clips from which apparently students can now access.

How – right click on the video, copy the embed htm

Go to the blog post (in the dashboard view) – select the html option from the toolbar – paste, save the draft, preview, publish when finished the post. You can come back and edit any posts at any time.


The students were able to create their blogs without too many issues and are currently completing their research. One thing does not seem to be working and that is the ‘invite me to be a follower’ – despite the students following this process I have yet to receive any invitations so we will have to see……my backup plan is that the students will change their settings to public for the time it takes me to assess their blogs and they will give me the address of their blog. These settings can be changed back later. However, as no personal information is shared (as long as they follow the instructions when creating their profile) there should be no issue with the blogs being public anyway.


NZ Seafood Industry Council – Whats the catch?.

I was wanting to create a unit for a year 10 geography subject (Man vs Nature) on fishing, looking at the impacts of commercial and recreational fishing on the environment; its sustainability and how local community needs and cultures need to be considered. And then I get pointed in the direction of this interactive game! Yippee. Here students have to run an imaginary fishery and make decisions to ensure the sustainability of the fish population, whilst keeping all the various stakeholders happy. Easy enough to work and would be a great way to start discussion about the various issues involved in such a unit.

A bit like ‘youtube for instructions’! Here people have uploaded instructional videos on everything from how to treat a bitten tongue, how to make your own doggy treats, to how to visit a playboy club. Obviously teachers need to choose carefully and maybe show the chosen video to the class as a whole rather than direct students to the site itself. It would be very useful for teaching instructional text type in english and who knows, you might find just that piece of advice you always needed. (who hasn’t bitten their tongue at some point….not so sure about the playboy club though…)

Crittercam: Antarctic Adventure — National Geographic Kids.

A game involving you navigating and steering a boat around Antarctica to locate tagged seals to collect the footage from their cameras. Took me a while to work out how to steer the boat (terrible lack of computer game skill and knowledge I am thinking) but got the hang of it eventually. It’s the footage of the seals underwater that is interesting but it is a bit painstaking to gather it. However, it could easily amuse year 7 or 8 students for a while and may generate discussion about why we might want this footage, should scientists be there etc etc. Thanks to iLearn Technology blog for this link. National Geographic are a terrific organisation and seem to have produced oodles and oodles of educatinal material.

BBC – GCSE Bitesize – Homepage.

This web page is designed to help UK students study and revise for their GCSE so not all subjects will be relevant to the Australian Curriculum. The videos also are not available for us to view. Despite this the notes, diagrams and mini tests still have a lot to offer to teachers and students. I found the notes on river systems very comprehensive, easy to comprehend and supported by excellent diagrams and flash animations.

National Geographic Website

Posted: January 19, 2012 in Art, Geography, Science, Website

The National Geographic website is an incredibly rich resource.   There are so many great things here you can get lost (in a totally good way) jumping from resource to resource. From videos to games to beautiful photos if you can’t find something useful here I will eat my squeaky toy!

As I live and teach in the Western District this site has been of great interest to me. Its blurb claims only a ‘very small sample’ is available on line but this sample alone is very useful when teaching primary sources and local history to students. Even if you don’t live in this area the resources here should be of interest. They are also a good example of how important photography can be as a historical ‘vehicle’ or examples of different compositions.

“The Vern McCallum Photo Collection shows the places, people and events of the Western District of Victoria and nearby South Australia from the 1860s to the 1970s. The collection started with photos from Vern’s own family (which arrived in the District in the 1850s) and has expanded through the goodwill of many people who either donated photos, or allowed Vern to copy their photos. The collection now contains over 7,000 images and is still growing. A very small sample is available on-line.”