Tag Archives: Visualization

Tuesday’s Tool: Online Tool Roundup

Click for source.

This busy week has caused me to fall behind with the posts. So, for the online tool feature, I will give you five six for the price of one. Enjoy…

Students have a difficult time putting into context statistics involving large numbers of people. The BBC now offers How Many Really?, an online tool that allows one to put historical and current statistics in a context students can better understand. There are options for using Facebook or Twitter lists for comparisons, but one can also enter their own number of people (maybe a classroom’s worth) in order to see how these statistics would play out in a smaller, more manageable context. One could visualize how many of their Facebook friends would have died at Gettysburg or how many would be homeowners.  via Larry Ferlazzo,  via Infosthetics)

SafeShare is the tool for which schools weary of questionable YouTube content have been searching. With SafeShare, teachers can enter a YouTube URL and the tool will filter out ads, related videos, and comments. This makes YouTube a much safer resource for the classroom.

WikiHow has always been a fantastic resource for the how-to’s for almost anything. WH’s list of commonly misused words is just one example of how this site can be used as a help tool for your students. The list links to easy-to-understand anecdotes and definitions that explain when and where a word is best used. Now, there’s a simple way to explain the difference between “affect” and “effect.” (via EdGalaxy)

Chrome Experiments brings us the Web GL Globe, a tool that allows us to visualize world data in a prety slick, 3-D image of the earth. There are a few globes already submitted on the site, but it is easy to grab the Java Script and insert your own data sets.

Moritz Stefaner has created a fantastic real-time visualization tool of Twitter content. Simply enter any topic and the tool demonstrates what’s being said on Twitter in a constantly-updated timeline. It’s easy to keep up with nearly any trending topic with this tool.

Over the last few days, new tool to help with classroom management has been floating around the eMINTS discussion list. Class Dojo is an online tool that allows teachers to keep track of both positive and negative behaviors during class. Students might be rewarded for participation or helping others. Conversely, a teacher can track negative behaviors such as disruptions or missing homework. Data is collected in nice inforgraphics for the entire class as well as individual students. This data can then be easily shared with stakeholders for each student. One can even remotely record data with a smart phone, although no app seems to be available at the moment.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.

Thursday’s Tip: Handmade Visualization Toolkit

Via collection of data visualizations.

Reading and creating visualizations of data is a key part of schooling. Graphic visualization is covered in the social studies, sciences, and mathematics.  Instead of looking at textbook graphics or creating aids on graph paper, why not use a Homemade Visualization Toolkit like the one created by “visual thinker” Jose Duarte and create three-dimensional, real-life models of data similar to the one above.

The kit includes all the pieces you see below. This is how Duarte describes his project:

I am exploring new and simple ways to represent information. That is why [I] made my own visualization kit-tool that [I] use to make any kind of graphics quickly.

With it you can make any kind of graphics including: abstracts maps and diagrams, area graphs and charts, arrow diagrams, bar graphs, venn diagrams, time line charts, bubble graphs, circle diagramas, proportional charts, organization charts, and really, whatever you want.

All rights reserved by jose.duarte

Duarte is making his kit available for free. All you have to do is email him and make a request. Of course, if you don’t want to take full advantage of his generosity, you could create your own kit(s) and send him some of your results.

All images are from Jose Duarte’s Flickr page. Hat-tip goes out to the incredible visualization blog Information Aesthetics.

Zac Early is a instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

HD Links: Let’s Get Visual

Copyright © 2005–09 Joe Lencioni used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License

In our push to adapt teaching to match the needs of 21st century learners, we often look for new ways to present information for our students. Often lost in more antiquated methodology is the visual learner. Luckily, there are many options for presenting information visually all over the internet.

Check out Mashable’s infographic on “The Staggering Size of the Internet.” The vast amount of information being processed and exchanged is incredible, especially when expressed so well in a tidy infographic. If anything, this data represents the direction of our society and how people get and exchange information.

Although it’s great to learn so much about the Internet, there is many other kinds of data that can be represented visually. IBM brings us Many Eyes which attempts to demonstrate a near-infinite amount of information in graphic form. There are visual aids for Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech; a complex graph representing the timing of flower blooms and ripened fruit; there’s an enormous collection of crimecensus, and economic data to name just a few categories. One could get lost in Many Eyes, but it is sure to reveal the “look” of data to our more visual learners.

For more encyclopedic, even wikipedic, information, visit Qwiki. Qwiki is like Wikipedia except that the articles are visual narratives with voiceovers that bring the information on many, many topics to life for students. Watch the engaging presentation on the Great Barrier Reef or watch the biography of George Orwell during a unit on 1984 or Animal Farm.

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? I suggest subscribing to the amazing Information Aesthetics, a blog dedicated to the latest and greatest visualazations from around the internet. Just this morning, IA shared the enhanced video of the State of the Union address given last night by President Obama, complete with statistics and graphs to explain the President’s claims. There’s a video explaining the “Space Fence”: a network of ground-based radars that detect, track, measure and catalog thousands of objects in low-Earth orbit. Another post explains how to best tell a story with data. This blog really is a great resource that should be in your RSS feed.

If you’re looking for a tool that can allow students to create their own visual presentations of their research, try Middlespot. Middlespot allows users to “mash-up” various forms of media and information around the web into one place. The tools are easy to use and feature many drag-and-drop options.

Hopefully, these tools and resources will provide new ways for you to visualize your teaching. What are some ways in which you improve the visualization of your lessons?

Zac Early is an instructions specialist for the eMINTS National Center.