Get Outside with National Map Reading Week
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Hey you! Yes, you! Get up off that couch!
We know it’s comfy and warm, but it’s time to get outside, find adventures and make memories!
As teachers of English as a Foreign Language, we are adventurous by our very nature. We tend to be drawn to visiting new countries and exploring new destinations. As anyone who has upped sticks and moved abroad will tell you, exciting does not begin to describe the thrill of moving to another country.
Read more: 7 Unexpected Outcomes of a TEFL Life
If you find yourself double-tapping on gorgeous landscapes you see on Instagram, subscribing to adventurous YouTubers, or pinning travel blogs for “one day”, then you’re likely a good candidate for a TEFL career. But if we’re really honest, sometimes we’re also guilty of living vicariously through our favourite travel vloggers. It’s quite comfy being an armchair traveller.
But no more, we say! This week is National Map Reading Week, and we’re down for it!
What is National Map Reading Week?
Run by the UK mapping organisation Ordnance Survey, National Map Reading Week aims to encourage us to venture outside and explore the beautiful world around us. Hiking, walking, mountain-climbing, cycling – anything and everything that requires an elevated heart rate, involves breathing fresh air and is rewarded with a spectacular view is just what the doctor ordered this week.
Unfortunately, hard-core thrill-seekers aside, it seems many of us have lost the motivation to turn off Netflix and get up off the couch. Even though there is likely a gorgeous outdoor adventure waiting for you on your doorstep (or close by), many of us prefer to see it on social media rather than go there ourselves. After all, watching a documentary on the Lake District from your living room is much easier (and cheaper) than going there yourself. All this means that we no longer get outside as much as we used to unless it involves walking to the pub.
The real outside adventures are those which immerse us in nature, free us from technology, and help us stay sane. In other words, going for long walks on the beach, going hiking in the mountains, or going cycling with friends. Because we are now more used to going to the gym than taking a walk outside, we have lost touch with nature. Bear Grylls would be ashamed of us.
Most telling of all this is that we have forgotten some of the most basic survival skills, one of which is reading maps. In fact, recent research has shown that 60% of millennials rely on their mobile map apps to get around. Of course, technology has been developed to help us in our daily lives, but what happens when your phone dies or you don’t have network coverage? Besides, all the most Insta-worthy places are not on a map!
This is why National Map Reading Week hopes to encourage people to learn map reading or brush up on their current skills.
What are map reading skills?
Map reading skills incorporate a range of skills. On a basic level, they are exactly what it says on the tin: the ability to read a map. But maps can be simple or they can be quite complex. You might need to read a map to find out how to get to a particular destination or to help you find your way when you are lost. You can use a map to identify the geography of an area without setting foot there. Walker and hikers use maps to venture off the beaten track without getting themselves into danger.
There are many advantages to having good map reading skills. Being able to read a map teaches you spatial awareness and how objects relate to each other. Learning about contour lines, gradients, grid lines, map scales and distances does wonders for your maths skills.
How to get involved in National Map Reading Week
Now for the fun part. Read a few articles and teach yourself the basics of map reading – the Get Outside website is a good place to start. Once you’re familiar with the fundamentals it’s time to practice. Get yourself a map and a compass and get ready for the adventure to begin.
We encourage you to start small, just in case your map reading skills need more work! Find a local short walk that is nearby. Choose one that is already clearly sign-posted. Then find a paper map of the same route. Follow the route on the map to make sure your direction decisions match up with the signposts.
Once you’ve conquered that, you can grab a bunch of friends – preferably one or two with experience reading maps – and try something more remote. The fresh air, Vitamin D and exercise will do wonders for your physical and mental health and well-being and you might even find it addictive. Even better, if you are in a foreign country there will be loads of different walking paths, hiking trails or cycling tracks that you can explore and be rewarded with the most amazing experiences and views.
National Map Reading Week in the EFL classroom
If you’re already teaching English as a Foreign Language, you might want to introduce map reading to your classes. Young Learners can start by following simple treasure maps to find some hidden surprises. They can even make their own treasure maps. Older learners can do listening exercises involving maps to solve mysteries or crimes. Adult learners can draw maps to explain to their partners where they live in relation to the school.
As you can see there are many different ways to incorporate map reading into your life and your classroom. Map reading skills might seem like a forgotten art, but let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. You never know when you’ll need to read a map. So get up and go – but don’t forget your sunscreen!
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.