So I worked with a great ITRT and former science teacher, Gaynell Lyman, to look at ways we might use both Swivel and the googlelookup function in google spreadsheets to see what we could do to save time and get to the actual learning. Concept We wanted students to be able to see how various factors changed as you move across the periodic table and how they interrelate. The goal was also to have them look at the charts and manipulate them to figure out these concepts on their own. Steps The idea was not to get them to look up data from a chart and re-write it in another chart so we opted to try using google’s lookup function. It performed pretty well but wouldn’t look up some of the values we initially started with and with some of the others it opted for slightly different formats for the same concept (like 185 mu or mu 185). A minor issue but one to look for. What we did was list the elements in column A, in column B we did a googlelookup of atomic radius with the formula =googlelookup(A2,”atomic radius” and then a similar formula to get the data for electronegativity. We were hoping to get a bit more data but the lookup function, while neat, is still pretty […]
This is a perfect tool for teachers. Upload your own data sets and correlate away. You can now analyze your data and the data uploaded by other site members (currently all data is public). Once you’ve got things set up, Swivel then creates the html to allow you to easily embed different flavors of the graph in your blog or web site (that’s one of their’s above- and it allows a lot of customization). It makes data look good and it’s really easy to embed in blogs or webpages. The possible uses in History, English, Science and Math are pretty obvious. But it’d also be a great way to communicate with parents at a school or district level. Testing data will be public anyway so you might as well make it look good and the ability to compare different data sets visually and to share them is simply amazing. Between this site and DabbleDB I see it becoming a lot easier for teachers to really integrate powerful data analyzation and manipulation into the day to day operation of their classrooms. via TechCrunch
How cool is this? Today, we’re taking the next step in reader involvement with the launch of The New York Times Visualization Lab, which allows readers to create compelling interactive charts, graphs, maps and other types of graphical presentations from data made available by Times editors. NYTimes.com readers can comment on the visualizations, share them with others in the form of widgets and images, and create topic hubs where people can collect visualizations and discuss specific subjects. –source Sure you could do this the hard way for a lot of the data but to have it supported and built into the system is pretty nice and an interesting shift towards a different kind of user interaction. It, as well as the growth of sites like wordle, swivel and manyeyes, really shows how prevalent and important information visualization is becoming. Now we have to start teaching our students how to analyze and how to make these visualizations in ways that matter. The thought behind the construction (or deconstruction) is what’s important. It’d be easy for a lot of this to be the powerpoint animation of data- just a quick way to pretend something crappy is much cooler and more important than it is (but that fools no one). I’m not sure how flexible things will be. Seems like students might be […]
Hey there VSTE ITRTs! Here are links to the resources used in today’s Google Earth/Maps, GPS session. I tried to cull things down a little bit to keep it from being overwhelming. If you want to check out all the links for Google Earth feel free to browse my del.icio.us account. There’s lot more stuff there. Google Earth First, you can get Google Earth for free here so go get it if you haven’t yet. Basic Google Earth Tutorials Google’s Own Basics Juicy Geography’s PDFs Adding Time– make your KML files change using the time line feature KML Files The Google Earth Blog– all Google Earth, all the time Google Lit Trips– Books with a geographic twist The BIG Keyhole Site– lots of everything including help Google’s Outreach Showcase– where Google shows off good examples Keep in mind you can search in Google Earth for KML files. Lesson Plans/Example Files (stuff I showed you) English Examples History Examples Math Examples Science Examples (kind of big 3MB) Neat Stuff Possibilities The Next Level Make Better Balloons Make Your File From a Spreadsheet– you can make KML files from a spreadsheet and they’re pretty! Google Maps A lot of features similar to Google Earth. It will allow you to embed video in the information bubbles which is nice and I like the […]
A while back I posted about using GoogleLookup to get data quickly and easily to make and put into Google Earth via Google Spreadsheets. The example file is at http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pGAYO0Q5WpT8_Rsss6Uw2LQ&output=txt&gid=2&range=a1. It’s a network link. In Google Earth- click Add– Network Link and paste the URL into the Link box. Here’s some information on how to do this if you’re interested. Put Info into Google Earth from a Google Spreadsheet Things ended up being far easier than I anticipated. The last time I did a networked KML link from a spreadsheet (sounds way fancier than it is) I had to make it myself and go through a different service. Now Google has a nice template all set up to make things work well and it makes things pretty as well. Adding GoogleLookup to the Template So the next thing I did was play around a little with the lookup function. I didn’t do too much. I was just playing around to make sure it would work. This wouldn’t save you much time as it’s only five cities but it you wanted to plot all this information for 50 cities things would start to get a lot more interesting. I just added a few columns at the end of the spreadsheet and then set up the following formulas. I put the lookup […]
This branched out into Google Maps, Sketchup and even Swivel. I heard about some great projects being done by 4th and 5th graders using sketchup to create Incan (or Mayan?) ruins and then putting them in Google Earth. I’m really interested in seeing the examples but don’t have a link yet. The most interesting part of the discussion to me was a reminder of the googlelookup function in Google spreadsheets. You can use it to look up latitude/longitude coordinates for cities it appears and the use it to create an xml file. The cool thing to do would be to generate that data, the city’s population, avg. temp etc. (whatever interesting data you can pull through lookup or manually) and then push it to Swivel. And then, and then, and then you embed the Swivel data in the info window for each city. It’s sad how exciting that seems to me. Besides that I got some good links to look at later which are posted in del.icio.us if you’re interested.
An interesting photo essay from Time that shows you the food eaten by families all over the world along with the grocery bill for one week and their favorite foods. It’s pretty interesting and would make a good way to expose students to other cultures, explore geography, talk about economics and even get into some health related concerns. It worries me how much Coke the family in the picture above is drinking in a week and the amount of processed food some of the families eat is kind of scary as well. I’m not a health food nut so I imagine my own groceries would look as bad all piled up. That might make for an interesting project. Have your students bring the receipt from a weekly grocery trip in and compile a digital image full of all the food their family bought. It’d make for an interesting conversation starter. You could also graph the results, total how many bags of potato chips, how many gallons of Coke were bought. It’d be a great project to do collaboratively in Google Spreadsheets and then export to Swivel for graphing and manipulation If you wanted to go the extra yard it’d be fun to calculate the total calories and the amount of exercise needed to burn them- how many miles of running, […]
I wrote a post about Swivel the other day (a really interesting data sharing/graphing site) at about 11:40 at night. By the next morning I had two comments from the co-founders (Mr. Dimov and Mr. Mulloy). To me this demonstrates how the world has fundamentally changed. It really is about conversation and the people who take the time and have the skill to communicate are going to succeed. These are the skills our students will need. I have to feel that Swivel will do very well. These guys get it.