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June 25, 2007



So, I too am outside the NECC love fest and am hanging out on the farm in Wisconsin with a gaggle of nieces and nephews... anyway, I think that data visualization is incredibly powerful and engaging. On a very basic level one of the firt things that really sparked my 'path to technology enlightenment' was the effectiveness of using GIS (geographic information systems), ArcView specifically, with middle schoolers. The day I watched kids 'get it' because they were interacting with the data, making it 'do' things and looking for patterns was the day the things changed in my classroom. The video on flight patterns is not only interesting from a knowledge perspective, but from an aesthetic one as well. Love this type of thing!


Diana -- Glad to learn that I'm not the only one (other than Dan) to somewhere other than NECC these days. Hope the farm is being kind to your spirit!

Agree with you that when typically uninspired data (spreadsheet, anyone?) can be re-imagined in ways that both excite the mind and the heart rate, we are onto something quite profound.

Hopefully our kids/teachers will begin to imagine ways to bring data to life in classrooms everywhere, something beyond a poster board or a spreadsheet, anyway.


Dan Meyer

Yikes. That guy is, uh, not me. Wouldn't personally be caught dead in Pittsburgh wearing a fake mullet.

I think I'll liveblog (so to speak, since we're in conference-going mode) the production of next year's data visualization unit. I messed data viz up in enough ways last year to have a clear outline.


Dan -- Certainly do not want to lump you in with the guys "caught dead in Pittsburgh wearing a fake mullet". I'll make a call to the guys at Google to see if the post can be permanently adjusted in search-engine land to save your integrity (and sense of humor? -- he smiles).

As for letting the world play along with you as you develop your data vis project(s) next year, great idea. Failure guarantees success if we hang in there long enough, but something tells me you aren't actually failing...just polishing the eventual trophy.

Cheers, Christian

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