New Facebook Page

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I’ve decided recently to start a Facebook page linked with this website and my instagram. The main reason for this is to provide another place where students and parents can get updates on what’s happening in Socials at GC and in my classes in particular. I’ve been posting pictures and updates there so far, but announcements and assignment information will follow, as will additional information linked to content covered in Social Studies courses. Feel free to follow or like the page to get these updates, and spread the word around.

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Changes to website

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Up until now, I have been using a different website (weebly) for information specific to my classes, while using this one for other educational pursuits. Starting this summer, I will be moving my class site here to help keep everything together in one place. I will keep a similar layout with a page for each course I teach, which will have an announcements section and place for class documents (notes, study guides, and other relevant materials). Essentially, I will be adding a menu that allows access to a page for each course. This will be simpler for me to maintain and make sharing of resources and materials with students and other teachers easier as well.

WordPress is a powerful hosting site in terms of my own web-based needs, and since I already pay for this domain, it only makes sense to get the most out of it for all my education related postings. I will continue to blog periodically about my thoughts on education and inquiry-based learning (more on this later). I’ve also recently begun cycling, so who knows I may post a little bit about that from time to time.

Anyway, the course part of the site is very much under construction and really won’t be populated with course materials until late this summer as a new school year begins. Any thoughts or suggestions on this would be appreciated, so drop me an email or tweet if you feel so inclined.

Canada’s Population now above 36 mil

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In 2012, I began teaching a brand new course in the Newfoundland and Labrador Social Studies Curriculum – the new and improved Canadian Geography 1202. My favourite unit from this course deals with demography and population trends and issues facing our country, and the textbook, an updated-for-NL-use version of Encounter Canada (Oxford University Press, 2007) that had been used in Ontario schools, did a good job of covering major concepts in the unit. I remember the population data in this resource said that Canada’s population was about 33.5 million. Whether that’s updated for the 2012 NL course or whether it was the stat used in the 2007 original text, it is less than the most updated numbers from Stats Canada, which place Canada’s population at the beginning of this year at over 36 million.

I mention this because the National Post has put up a short post that includes an interactive map that shows the current population and relative growth in the last 10 years. That of the Atlantic populations remain low in growth is no surprising, and neither is the high rate of growth for Alberta, but one wonders how quickly this will change in light of the recent economic downturn.

There are numbers on the site for migration numbers, births and deaths, and more. Worth checking out.

Spain’s Got The Wrong Time

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For seven decades Spain has had the wrong time…zone. Spain is currently on CET (Central European Time), rather than GMT like the UK, and it’s all because of a single meeting between Francisco Franco and Adolf Hitler back in Oct. 1940. Hitler had been looking for Spain’s support during the war, only to be unsuccessful. Spain had suffered enough from its own civil war and the difficult recovery it was undertaking meant that Franco was reluctant to provide the support Hitler requested. Instead, perhaps as a show of good faith, the Spanish leader switched his country’s clocks to be in line with Germany’s and this change hasn’t been successfully revisited by the government there until recently.

The country is currently going through the process of approval  for a new bill designed to put Spain back into the GMT timezone, the one it used to have before the 1940’s. There’s apparently a group called the Association for the Rationalization of Spanish Schedules, which has been attempting to alter the holiday and weekend makeup of the country’s culture in order to bring it in line more closely with it’s UK counterparts to the north. The hope is that Spain can improve the productivity of its workforce through such measures.

Source: National Public Radio.