Graphic Organizers – [becomes/ is] – Data Visualization

How do we understand the information we see? How do we represent the information we have? What is the best way to organize information for different purposes/ audiences?

Different graphic organizers are better for different purposes and we’ve been using them for a long time. Have we, though, been explicitly teaching the pros and cons and characteristics of how each organizer presents an interpretation of data, and how the interpretation may influence the way the data is read?

As new digital tools emerge regularly, along with access to more and more data, we have the opportunity to present information and the understanding, or interpretation, of that information – our learning – at the same time.

The catalyst for this was (again) an episode of CBC’s Spark:  Spark 133 – 5th segment

Off the top of my head, below are some examples of what I’m thinking about.

Nuclear detonations 1945-1998
watch a video of a world map-view of all the sites of nuclear detonations – it’s crazy!

Health and Wealth over 200 years
This is an animated graph of standards of living in 200 countries over the last 200 years.

Visual Thesaurus
this site creates a mind map-style of word relationships.

This is a presentation tool that is waaaay more flexible than powerpoint.  Go play around with it!

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