New Exhibit API Out
The wizards at MIT have released Exhibit 2.0 and it’s amazing. It’s so cool that I’m not even bitter that I’ll have to fix a few web sites and completely re-make my tutorial. That’s pretty amazing.
Swing by and check out the new examples. It’s very nice stuff.
Ian Bogost was on The Colbert Report last night. Bogost has a new book, Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, about rethinking the value of video games. From the book description: Videogames are both an expressive medium and a persuasive medium; they represent how real and imagined systems work, and they invite players to interact with those systems and form judgments about them. He mentioned a series of persuasive games he had produced to illustrate his theory, and as he described one of the games, I suddenly recognized it. Dissaffected, a game that places your on the service side of a Kinkos, must have popped on my radar last year. I played it for awhile, then became frustrated with the way I was being treated by the customers and never went back to it. I never realized the significance of my reaction. It is an interesting simulation of the service industry. Bogost has added a number of games to his catalogue, and I recommend exploring the games with your classrooms in mind. This could be a wonderful way to stimulate conversation and reflection. Ian Bogost’s Blog
I found this KMZ file the other night. It’s really the greatest Google Earth file I’ve ever seen. It’s tracking bird flu but it’s doing it through, time, space and evolution. It creates a three dimensional representation of the changing aspects of the virus as it moves from carrier to carrier and place to place. There’s a video showing what it can do and explaining things here. The source file is over here. Why am I so impressed? Mainly because it’s a perfect representation of data visualization. It shows a completely different way to use Google Earth. Who would have thought to use a geography program to track the evolution of a virus? This kind of convergence is amazing and examples like this can lead to some amazing connections. It can also lead the way for other creators to start using this application in different ways.
Here are the things I’d be working into the mix if I were teaching English, government, math/stats or history in this fine political season. Political Bias? Lifehacker pointed out this cool little Greasemonkey script “Memeorandum Colors script colors sites that usually link to conservative topics red, and sites that generally link to liberal topics blue (the colors get darker or lighter depending on the sites’ linking activity). The result is a quick visualization of what kind of political site a link points to using colors.” Let them read how it works and think about how that might slant things in strange ways (what if I’m conservative but am consistently linking to liberal blogs in order to attack them?) This would be the start of a conversation between the class and myself. What purpose does this script serve? In what ways can we use the data it generates to inform what we’re reading? What happens to readers and the way we consume information as ideas like this become more commonplace? Red vs Blue Book Buying Here’s a chance for some discussion of voting demographics and a chance to really get some good critical thinking going with data and causation. The maps are of “red” and “blue” books and their purchase rate (through Amazon) prior to 2004 and 2008 elections. The great […]