Teachit Geography – Product Review by Sarah

TeachIt GeographyThis is site is aimed at Key Stage 3 (KS3) to Key Stage Five (KS5) Geography teachers. The site is split into the different Key Stages and then subdivided into the curriculum areas within each Key Stage. 

The resources are clearly labelled and are available as interactives, PowerPoints, word documents and all are available as free PDFs. Some have all formats available, some only have one or two. PDF files (not adaptable) are free to use by everyone whereas the other formats are only available to subscribers and can be adapted. It took me a while to work out which were the free resources and which were available only to the subscribers as it is written in smaller italics under the name of the resource. This could do with being clearer as there is nothing worse than finding that perfect resource only to find it is not available to you on a free membership. 

Once you have a list of resources up you have the facility to filter your search down by adding dates they were added, keywords and file type. This can save you some vital time looking for a resource in a certain format and prevent you from trawling through a huge list of irrelevant resources. At present there are not too many resources on the site so this feature would not be used much. However, once the number of resources increases I can see this being a valuable tool.

There is a folder for you to store any resources that you feel would be useful in the future. This is only available if you have a paid Individual or Department subscription to the site. This is a handy tool and saves you having to search through the site again to find things. The folder works like folders in Word, you can create more folders within the main folder to be super organised if you wish. The Department subscription allows access to the shared folders of all the teachers on the same subscription plan.

TeachIt Geography

The site has a selection of interactive games on various topics, including Hangman which can be set up with a list of geography related words, that would complement a lesson and reinforce the lesson's learning objective in a fun interactive way. These resource are included in the subscription price. It is necessary to play with the resources before using them in a classroom, you cannot just put them on and go! I found the Magnet one confusing on the free sample and the ready-made ones, with no way of knowing if the answers were correct. With a paid subscription you can however create your own. The Matching resource was again confusing, and I could not get it to work. The sequencing you can do, but again, no way of checking your answers on the ready made ones which is a shame. Creating your own allows you to put the option there for students to check their work, but would require time and effort plus knowledge of what they are studying to make these up in advance. *1

Snap and Hexbusters (take on Blockbusters) have a taster sample on the free subscription, with Hexbusters especially, requiring you to have the knowledge to know if the answer to the question is correct or not. *2

The resources can all be used and completed in a lesson so are ideal if no planning has been left but you know the topic being studied. Some require prior knowledge on the topic / a brief explanation of the terms, but others can be used as a complete stand alone session.

The 'What's New?" Section is a useful tool to make use of, including a calendar of events relevant to teaching - World Science Day, Anti Bullying week, Black History month etc. Not related to Geography but ideal to bear in mind for a more cross curriculum approach. The news section is full of education related news items currently relevant within education and good for keeping your own knowledge and understanding relevant.

Overall the site is easy to navigate and I can see once more resources become available on it it will become a handy resource for Geography teachers both permanent or on supply. 

 

About:

Teachit Geography publishes Geography resources for KS3–5 that teachers have made for their own classes.  Those resources are edited by teachers and published every week on the website for other teachers to use.  They are available free to all as PDFs, and in adaptable formats for subscribers.  The resources include worksheets, spreadsheets, PowerPoints and interactive activities.

The resources on Teachit Geography were ‘Highly Commended’ by the Geographical Association in 2013.  The judges commented on the quality and high standard of the engaging and relevant secondary classroom materials.  The Twitter account was also included on a list of the best Geography-teaching tweeters by the Guardian earlier this year.

The secondary Geography curriculum never stands still and they are continuing to publish specially commissioned resources to reflect recent changes to KS3.  Similarly, topical resources are published regularly linked to British and international news articles to support teachers.  A recent addition has been the ‘Geography in the news’ blog, which is proving very popular.

TeachIt Geography is part of the TeachIt family, which now boasts nine online resource libraries.

*1 Note on these from TeachIt: "These are generally used on an IWB where the class/teacher agree/disagree with the answers.  If they are used by an individual, the intention is for the end result to be printed out and checked. On Matching we’re now adding an instruction to this interactive to tell the user to move the tiles on the right hand side up and down by dragging and dropping to match the keyword/definition correctly. "

*2 Note from TeachIt: "Hexbusters does provide the answers: the sequencing interactive does allow you to check your answers, but only once 50% of the answers (or a percentage you set) are correct." 

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