Category: School teaching

Traces of labour: who made my phone?

There are two weeks to go before our latest pedagogical experiment begins: the free online course called ‘Who made my clothes?’ which we have put together with Fashion Revolution and the University of Exeter. To help to spread the word, CEO Ian will front a small number of ‘Who made my…?’ films which show how we can imagine and find traces of labour in everyday commodities. The first film is about mobile phones and ends with a request. Please try this out and let us know what happens. Then watch the others in this playlist.

Not sure if this is or is not the ‘norm’ but I just received my brand new iPhone here in the UK and once it had been activated on iTunes I found that the home screen (the screen you can personalise with a photo) already had a photo set against it !!!! (Source: markm49uk 2008, np link).

I hope she doesn’t get fired, she looks so bloody happy! I will dedicate my iPhone homescreen to her for the rest of this week (Source: vegasdodger 2008, np link).

Photo source:

markm49uk (2008) iPhone 3G – already with pictures ! (aka “iPhone Girl”). macrumors.com 20 August (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/iphone-3g-already-with-pictures-aka-iphone-girl.547777/ last accessed 13 June 2017)

Further reading:

Cook, I. (2011) iPhone 3G – already with pictures! (aka ‘iPhone Girl’). followthethings.com (http://followthethings.com/iphonegirl.shtml last accessed 13 June 2017)

Cook, I. (2013) The 14 best examples of shop-dropping… ever. followtheblog.org 23 March (https://followtheblog.org/2013/03/22/paper-activism-in-store-in-things-on-things/ last accessed 13 June 2017)

Woolf, S. (2017) Dear iPhone Girl. followtheblog.org 11 February (https://followtheblog.org/2017/02/11/guest-blog-dear-iphone-girl/ last accessed 13 June 2017)

Ever wondered ‘Who made my clothes?’ Find out by taking this free online course

Fashion Revolution week finished yesterday. It’s call to arms is the question ‘Who made my clothes?’ Here’s how you get involved, do this yourself.

On June 26th, there will be another way to find out ‘Who made my clothes?’: that’s when a free 3 week online course led by our CEO Ian begins. Here’s the trailer. You can sign up here

New publication: Teaching media literacy and the geographies of consumption

How can encouraging students to cut up, rearrange and otherwise mess with adverts’ imagery and messages help them to better appreciate the complex geographies of consumption and international trade? How can the teaching of controversial issues build on students’ senses of injustice, mischief and creativity?  We have a suggestion…

Earlier this year, a booklet called Medialukutaitoa vastamainoksista became a booklet called Teaching media literacy and the geographies of consumption These booklets come from a series of workshops developed by former followthethings.com intern Eeva Kempainnen in a variety of educational settings in Finland. The hands-on and entertaining methods she sets out are suitable for a variety of ages, and the booklets are crammed with ‘how to’ advice and excellent examples of student work. Watch our cheaply produced promo, download the booklets by clicking the links, and find out more about Eeva’s work here.

Thanks to Mary Biddulph and Alan Parkinson for their help in this process.

‘Behind the seams’: from Idea Zone to journal article

Last year we co-ran the Idea Zone at the Geographical Association conference in Guildford. We filled a table with Lego for delegates to recreate scenes described on our website. We set up a card table to make a play our Ethical Trade trump card game. And a Nottingham PGCE student called Hannah Campion brought along some lesson plans, teaching materials and student work showing how she’d used our site and classroom resources to develop a lesson series about ‘The Geographies of my Stuff’.  She was asked if she’d be interested in writing a short paper about all of this in the GA’s Teaching Geography journal. It’s just been published, and here’s an extract.

147 Ideas Zone

Hannah talks to delegates about her lesson plans, materials and student work.

“… My five-lesson sequence was developed for year 8 and followed on from a year 7 unit, ‘The Geography of my Stuff’. I wanted to develop students’ ability to investigate and critically reflect on the hidden connections which link them to often distant global communities, and to empathise with the people who live and work there. To do this, I chose a familiar but often untraceable commodity which students could easily identify with – a plain white T-shirt. … In the first lesson we used a ‘who, what, why’ starter, with images of horses, clothes and the Rana Plaza factory collapse to stimulate students’ curiosity. … Lesson 2 introduced the £4 T-shirt as the commodity to be investigated.  After we had covered the role of the first link in the chain, the cotton farmer, the main activity required students to explore, in groups, ‘How much of the £4 should x get paid?’ …  Lesson 3 focused on manufacturing and worker conditions. The enquiry question was: ‘Who was to blame for the Rana Plaza collapse?’ … Having helped students to step into the shoes of ‘others’ and investigate the structures and processes of the clothing industry, in lesson 4 we focused on the ethical standards of global retailers. The class was divided into two groups, representing H&M and Primark … [and] students played the Top Trumps game to compare multiple retailers. … [Finally] The assessment activity was to produce a newspaper article … entitled ‘Behind the seams… the story of a £4 T-shirt’.”

Source

Hannah Campion (2015) Behind the seams… the story of a £4 t-shirt.  Teaching Geography Spring, 26-28 (Click to access)

How to make & play Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Ethics Trump card game

In November last year, we made and played a Ethical Fashion Trump Card game that we were developing for the Fashion Revolution Day Education Pack.

Its aim is to encourage its players to think about their clothes and fashion ethics, a topic that’s more important than ever after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24 April last year.

It’s a playful way of encouraging some serious discussion about who and what we are wearing.

Here, we want to showcase the new FRD pack – which was published yesterday –  and to provide a match report that will give you an idea of how the game can be made and played in your classroom, home, shed … wherever you play cards!

Continue reading

Our 2nd #followtheteachers blog post

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Over the course of the 2013-4 academic year, we’re following seven school teachers and they use and adapt followthething.com in their classrooms in England. Our second post is by Natalie Batten. She reflects on how she encouraged her students to use our site last year to help compare and contrast multinational corporations. This year, she will be using one of our new  game-based teaching resources to encourage her students to better appreciate corporations’ diverse policies regarding workers’ rights and monitoring.

ftt Natalie button

I covered a similar topic to the one discussed in Oprah’s #followtheteachers blog post – that of globalisation and multinational companies.  This scheme, however, was implemented for AS Level Geography students (studying the OCR exam syllabus). This highlights the versatility of  followthethings.com site as a resource for a variety of student ages, even when covering the same topic area. For example, while Oprah used the site to introduce globalisation at Year 7, I used it at A level to consolidate pupils’ prior learning and provide them with examples and case studies for their exams.

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Click the seat!

The pupils were not familiar with the site, so time was incorporated into the scheme of work for them to explore it. They really liked the layout and navigation of the site and its recognisable format – like other online stores such as Amazon – which made the site personal to them and their interests.

ftt trump LEGO card

Click to play!

The different forms of data presentation on the site (eg. film reviews, travel journals, newspaper articles and Lego re-creations) provided opportunities for differentiation with more able pupils challenging themselves through interpretation of more abstract research sources. In particular, some used the Ford Car Seat page  – based on a 2006 film called ‘Made in Dagenham’ – to explore social and historical geographical topics such as feminism and women’s rights. This was important as it allowed pupils to ‘find the geography’ and make synoptic links to other geographical topics during their MNC research task.

An extension to a task like this could be to incorporate followthethings.com’s new teaching resource – Ethical Trade Trump Cards as a way to compare and contrast global MNCs on categories such as worker’s rights, policies and monitoring in an exciting and familiar game for pupils.

Both they and myself as a trainee teacher took a lot of positives away from this activity and I will certainly be using followthethings.com in my future teaching for this and other topics.

followthethings.com and the National Curriculum

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This summer, we have been working with Alan Parkinson –  legendary Geography teacher,  ‘Living Geography‘ blogger and GeoBlogs tweeter – to develop some new pages and downloads for school teachers and their students. Our site has been open for almost two years, and we have found that these ‘shoppers’ are (among) our most enthusiastic. But we’ve also had feedback from some saying that it’s difficult to know where to start with our site: guidance and teacher-generated ideas were needed.

Today, we publish the first completed resource from our work together – a guide to how Geography teachers in England and Wales can use our site in the light of changing National Curriculum requirements. This document will, we are sure, be helpful for many other teachers across disciplines, in different kinds of schools, and in many countries.

This is where we’re publishing it first. You can download it by pressing the button below. We’ll update it as the Curriculum develops. [We made up the NC logo].

ftt national curriculum button

This, along with many other resources, will be published on followthethings.com later in the summer. As soon as each on is finished, however, we’ll publish it here!

Please send us any feedback and ideas by commenting on this post or emailing us on fttclassroom@yahoo.com And, if you have already been teaching with followthethings.com, we would love to see how! Please get in touch and join our ﹟followtheteachers project on twitter (see below).