Geographical Association’s Annual Conference (#gaconf12)–Preview

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On the 12th of April, the Priory Geography team (Jo Debens, Sam Atkins, Alec Weaver and myself) will be heading to the GA’s Annual Conference in Manchester.  The first thought is road trip! Winking smile Last year the department had a great time so I was pleased to be able to fund the adventure again.  I am particularly looking forward to this year’s event as I’ll be free of any Committee obligations, including the rather painful and frustrating Association at Work meeting on the Thursday. This post is a preview of the events that myself and the team will be involved in.  We’ll also be blogging and tweeting from the event using the #gaconf12 hashtag.


The brainchild of Richard Allaway, this unofficial fringe event for geographers on the Friday evening.  We’ll be expecting up to 80 geographers for informal chat, good ale and other refreshments.  Last year, I made several excellent contacts that have provided the basis for collaboration.  This year I have been promoted to ‘partner in crime.’ So, if you’d like to meet up with like minded geographers visit the event’s website, there’s no formal agenda – I’m looking forward to seeing you there! Follow the hashtag #gabeermeet12 for further details.  At the event you’ll receive a swag bag. We will still welcome contributions from companies who’d like to donate items. Please contact me if you’re interested in reaching up to 80 geographers.

Discover the World Talk  – workshop 38 at 15:05pm


In this workshop I’ll be exploring some of the free lesson resources created around the 2010 Eyjafjallajökul eruption.  There’s some excited news to share also – but nowt for now.  The lovely people at Discover the World are also developing plans to extend the series to include resources on Cold Climates.  I understand that there may be some free Icelandic beverages up for grabs….

Free Microsoft Tools for the geography classroom – Workshop 8 11:40am


It’s now a couple of years since I visited Berlin with Microsoft’s Partners in Learning team.  Involvement with the network has not only unlocked opportunities to be involved in some very cool CPD, but also free training on a range of free resources available from Microsoft.  The workshop will centre around the idea that we should be using what we have better, and there’ll hardly be any PowerPoint in sight!  The workshop will showcase ways in which Priory Geography (a GA Centre of Excellence) have used Microsoft tools in and out of the classroom, including the range of excellent mobile apps.  We’ll also tell you how to get your department involved in the opportunities available and you’ll get to hear from our very own Jo Debens about her award winning project and trip to Moscow in 2011 (I’m sure I’ve told her…….)

I’m also going to enjoy catching up with friends old and new, eating a giant Naan bread and spending some time socialising with the department.

Hope to see you there!

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