Introducing three new quizzes on the British Isles!
The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe that consist of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Hebrides, Orkneys, Shetlands and over six thousand smaller isles.
The British Isles are home to two countries: the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Students in the United Kingdom learn about the British Isles, not just the UK, so we created a few new quizzes to assist their teachers to deliver the curriculum.
The British Isles: countries quiz breaks down the UK into its 4 autonomous regions of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and also includes the Republic of Ireland. To the outside world, it feels a little awkwardly named: within the UK, England, Scotland and Wales are referred to as countries, while N. Ireland is often called a province. But they are not independent countries, so the term 'country' can be confusing.
The British Isles: islands quiz asks about the major islands and archipelagos in the British isles (thankfully, just 10 questions, not 6,000!) Note that Jersey and Guernsey, which are not actually part of the geographic archipelago of the British Isles, they are closely associated with Britain, and are included in the UK geography curriculum.
If you're trying to learn UK major cities or the counties of England, it just got a bit easier. With a premium account, you can now customize these quizzes to include just the questions you are trying to learn.
As an example, I set up an England: West and East Midlands quiz. Now you can go ahead and create your own quizzes for whatever county groupings you wish to study. Learning is always easier when you break it down into smaller chunks.
If you aren't familiar with custom quizzes, you can learn about them in the Custom Quiz FAQ.
We think our American friends take a lot of teasing in the press every now and then when a survey comes out revealing gaps in geography knowledge. So we thought it only fair to report on a story out of Northampton in the UK.
The recent Travelodge survey reveals some shocking facts:
about 1 in 10 (11%) believe the UK is made up of more than 6 countries,
Almost the same (9%) believe that England alone makes up the UK,
Over half (54%) think that the UK has a bigger island than Great Britain,
In fact, over one third didn't know the difference between the UK and Great Britain, and
None of the respondents knew how many islands surround the mainland.
Well, to be honest, the answer to that last one (over 6,000) surprised us. However, look for that question to be in an upcoming Trivia quiz. But we do expect all our viewers to get perfect on this quiz.
Now, if you really want to to understand the British Isles a little better, we heartedly recommend the following video (watch until about 2:15 = although the rest is interesting too).
We noted two somewhat differing views of Geography in recent education news.
The UK Guardian published an editorial this summer entitled, The Guardian view on geography: it’s the must-have A-level. The editorial notes a recent Royal Geographical Society report that notes, 13% students more took geography at A-level this year than last, up to 37,100 – the biggest jump of any of the major subjects. The editorial goes on to describe geography as a "subject for our times. It is inherently multidisciplinary in a world that increasingly values people who have the skills needed to work across the physical and social sciences".
This perspective of the emerging importance of geography is supported by recent statistics released by the United States Department of Labor, describing job outlooks for geographers over a 10 year period from 2012 - 2022. The report projects an increase of 29% in jobs in this occupation.
However, a recent item from Australia's Tech Times reports that the country's education ministers have endorsed coding to replace geography and history as part of the new digital technologies curriculum, in which students will start learning to code in Year 5 and begin programming by Year 7.
As a digital-oriented group with a passion for geography and education, we at Lizard Point have strong feelings that all these subjects are critical. It is a shame to create a dynamic where one has to be traded off for the other. In fact, we believe educators should be looking for ways to better integrate these subjects. Doing things digitally, we believe, should be a natural reflex for our children - whether it be Maths, History or Geography.