I am always amazed at the various professional networks that teachers belong to. When I was teaching, my professional network revolved mainly around theimage teachers I met on local authority organised training (these don’t happen to the same extent any more ) and a professional subject network, such as the Association for Science Education . But technology and social networking sites such as Twitter and even our own Partners in Learning Network , now mean that teachers can create for themselves intricate professional learning networks or PLNs. Recently , I came across one of the most imaginative PLN I have seen. One of our Innovative Teacher Award winners, David Rogers  is part of group of teachers called the ‘The Geography Collective'. I will let David describe what this network is all about.

Mission:Explore – innovation in learning

Being creative and innovative with technology is only one way in which I try to support the learning of young people. As a qualified Mountain Leader, I have always recognised the power of external exploration. Indeed, as a geographer, my subject would make little sense to those I teach without getting outside.

clip_image003

It was a shared belief that people should be free to explore and engage in their environment that led to the formation of The Geography Collective over two years ago. We set out with a mission to encourage safe exploration against an increasing culture of risk aversion in schools. Mission:Explore was written in consultation with child safety charities and encourages young people and supports education professionals to take physical, creative and academic risks.

clip_image004

2010 has been an exciting time for The Geography Collective as Mission:Explore was launched in April.  It is a new interactive book that will get young people (re)claiming their right to play and exploration in the spaces in which they live. The book, and forthcoming mobile app, incites adventurous play through a series of challenging missions. Playful ‘research’ is at the heart of each mission so that explorers get to grips with geography, politics, science, sociology, psychology, history, science, religion and other subjects in a provocative, fun and engaging way. Think of it as your own personal licence to explore that fits neatly into your back pocket! The Geography Collective is committed to getting the message out there, so much so that royalties from the book will be invested in free copies of Mission:Explore for deprived children.

 

As a full-time Head of Geography , the missions can easily be adapted in order to develop data collection skills, PLTS and SEAL activities. We have even set missions for homework! If you’d like to know how Mission:Explore could be used in your school, feel free to get in touch with us at the Geocollective.

Of course, we are more than a one trick Gorilla! We are keen to engage as many people as possible and so will be visiting a variety of festivals this summer, including Glastonbury, Latitude and the Secret Garden Party . To find out exactly where we will be, follow the links below, and keep a look out for our pop-up intervention tent near you. The Geography Collective can also provide a range of bespoke CPD to schools and other organisations that ranges from team building to helping young people to get involved in the BSF process

To get more people to hear the message, we are recruiting more mission writers – so if you have a thirst for exploration, we’d love to hear from you.

To find out more about The Geography Collective and order go to: www.geographycollective.co.uk

To download some free Earth Day missions: http://www.missionexplore.co.uk/#/earth-day/4540282746

See how we launched Mission:Explore: http://daviderogers.blogspot.com/2010/04/missionexplore-at-ga-conference-1.html

Get in touch with David: david@thegeographycollective.co.uk

I think you can clearly see that David and his colleagues are clearly passionate about learning, these resources are definitely worth exploring, even if you are not a geography teacher. I know I am ordering my copy of Mission:Explore today.