Friday, January 25, 2008

Visualizations: Telling a Story with Data, Making an Impact

There are many new tools available to support the visual communication of information and data. To provide an overview, I've posted two videos that I recently revisited.

The first clip is of a Swedish professor, Hans Rosling, presenting at TED 2006. In this 20 minute presentation, Hans illuminates information and breaks down myths through the use of a variety of visual communication and information visualization tools:


The next video is the reincarnation of a short presentation that was initially developed in a PowerPoint format for a faculty meeting by Karl Fisch, the director of technology at Arapahoe high school in Colorado. The story behind the presentation is just as interesting.


Information from the Shift Happens wiki:

"Did You Know? originally started out as a PowerPoint presentation for a faculty meeting in August 2006 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, United States. The presentation "went viral" on the Web in February 2007 and, as of June 2007, had been seen by at least 5 million online viewers. Today the old and new versions of the online presentation have been seen by at least 10 million people, not including the countless others who saw it at conferences, workshops, training institutes, and other venues."

Shift Happens Wiki

This Wiki provides background information about the "Do You Know" presentation, including a section that discusses ideas for people who'd like to use the video for workshops, presentations, or activities in the classroom. The Wiki also has links to the sources behind the presentation, as well as related presentations. There are also links to edubloggers.

Karl Fisch's blog: The Fischbowl

"A staff development blog for Arapahoe High School teachers exploring constructivism and 21st century learning skills. The opinions expressed here are the personal views of Karl Fisch - and various other teachers at Arapahoe - and do not (necessarily) reflect the views of Littleton Public Schools."

Scott McCleod's blog : Dangerously Irrelevant
"Ruminations on technology, leadership, and the future of our schools"

Scott collaborated with Karl Fisch on the second version of "Did You Know". He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Iowa State University. Scott McCleod is also the director of CASTLE, the Center for Advanced Study of Technology Leadership.

CASTLE is the organization behind School Data Tutorials website. It looks like a very useful resource for people involved with data-driven decision making in their schools!

School Data Tutorials

"The tutorials on this site highlight many of the Excel skills that are helpful when working with building- and district-level data. These tutorials are targeted at data managers, principals, guidance counselors, teachers, and other school personnel who have the responsibility for collecting, analyzing, and reporting K-12 performance data."


I'm a school psychologist, so I think about data quite a bit. With RTI, additional data will be generated about student performance and progress. Information and data visualization tools and techniques might play an important role as the RTI model is implemented in the schools.

If you are a school psychologist, educator, or administrator who is involved in RTI, share this resource with your teams!

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