Insight 1: Become a GTAV member - resources, ideas and support aplenty!
At the beginning of the day Steve Latham (GTAV) provided a link for digital copies of all presentations and resources for the day. The collation of resources into one easy to access online space was fabulous - and a treasure trove of ideas, planners, resources, PPTs can be found HERE. The sharing of resources on this scale is testament to the collegial nature of the presenters (thank you!) and the GTAV's role as a key hub for geopgraphy teachers and teaching. In addition to this, the GTAV also made several chapters of their soon to released (Jan 2016) VCE textbooks (ORDER FORM HERE) available for early start programs (HERE)
Insight 2: The Study Design, Advice and resources are critical
Monica Bini (VCAA) walked through the new Study Design, Advice for Teachers and resources list (HERE). Knowledge of the Study Design is essential. Check these out and make sure you are registered to receive VCAA Bulletins/updates (HERE)
Insight 3: Develop a conceptual narrative to drive teaching and learning within and across units
Stephen Matthews' presentation (HERE) emphasised the use of concepts as base for the teaching and learning of geography.
Stephen highlighted the ways in which geographical concepts have evolved across the old and new Study Designs and how these can be used to develop a conceptual narrative to drive teaching and learning within and across units (see two of his PPT slides below)
Insight 4: Understand and utilise Spatial Technologies
Stephen clarified that: He also offered useful practical examples:
Insight 5: Collaborative planning (at a variety of levels) is essential
Curriculum planning is a like a dress rehearsal - it is a critical part of the teaching process. Margaret Bourke (McKinnon Secondary College) shared her experience (and that of her colleagues) in preparing for a new VCE Course (HERE). In a different presentation Emma Mathias-Williams discussed how she and her geography colleagues approach short term, mid-term and long term VCE Geog planning (and lesson planning) (see HERE slides 15-21). If you are the only Geography teacher in your school or find yourself wanting to work more collaboratively - join a GTAV network (HERE).
Insight 7: Teach students how to engage with data
To ensure that we are challenging students and promoting the development of higher order thinking skills, students need to be explicitly taught how to access and collate data and how to interpret data. They need to become data literate. Trish Douglas' presentation on population Movement (HERE) provides some examples of how data can be used to develop conceptual understanding. Cathie Meyenn's presentation (HERE) highlighted the importance of looking for and utilising 'new data' also. If you (like me) need help in this area - join a GTAV network and ask for guidance.
Insight 8: There are loads of Fieldwork options for the new VCE Geography course
If you read through the various presentations throughout the conference (HERE) you will see numerous references to already developed and possible fieldwork experiences for VCE Geography.
Insight 9: Case Studies - sequence within and across units
Having read through the presentations and various resources provided you will also note that all presentations (across units 1-4) address the issue of using case studies - with particular reference to selecting and sequencing appropriate case studies. You should also consider how your case studies sequence within and across units (how might you build on one case study or use it as a point of comparison elsewhere?). This highlights the need for careful and strategic planning.
Insight 10: Tech tools - don't be afraid to try something new
At every GTAV conference I come away with my head spinning - so many tech tools and great websites are mentioned. Here are a few I found interesting at this conference:
Digital trace Maps using Inkscapes
City of Melbourne Maps
Field papers (courtesy of Stephen Matthews) - awesome resource for fieldwork
Mapwing - build and share virtual tours
ARCGIS for desktop (apps avail also) - creating smart maps