LinkedIn Connection Timeline

Apr 15, 2013 by

Just a little demo of what the LinkedIn Lab Connection Timeline shows you. A visual representation of who your connections are from different phases in your life.

Here’s How:

  1. Go to LinkedIn Labs Connection Timeline.
  2. Follow the directions to sign in to your LinkedIn account and share your data.
  3. Wait.

Enjoy!

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WolframAlpha Facebook Report

Apr 12, 2013 by

This is a delightful exercise that everyone seems to love. WolframAlpha will provide you with an extremely detailed analysis of your own Facebook data including visualizations, world clouds, graphs, and more.

Graph of Facebook Activity over time

 

 

 

Here’s how:

  1. Go to WolframAlpha.com.
  2. Type “Facebook Report” and execute the search.
  3. Allow WolframAlpha to have access to your Facebook account by clicking on “Analyze my Facebook Data” and following the directions.
  4. Wait while the data is analyzed.

Note: Sometimes the report seems to stall after 100% of the data is analyzed. If this happens, simply repeat steps 1-3. The second time, the report seems to load just fine.

Enjoy!

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Data Sleuthing

Apr 4, 2013 by

Khan Academy Idaho is a grant-funded initiative to help K-12 teachers in Idaho integrate digital devices and the Khan Academy program into their math classrooms. Yesterday I gave a keynote there called “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” about (1) the challenges facing math educators and (2) Data Sleuthing, a way to encourage math curiosity and data literacy in students.

Resources from this presentation:

Homework from the Presentation

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Resources for Data Literacy

Oct 20, 2012 by

The single most important tool I’ve found for improving Digital Literacy is Wolfram Alpha.  At your fingertips, whether on your phone, tablet, or laptop, you have access to all the world’s readily available data.  All you have to do is ask.  The best thing I can do to improve data literacy is to teach students (and other adults I know) to question the facts they are being quoted as gospel.  Here are a bunch of searches I’ve done recently to verify or refute data someone has told me in conversation.

Graph showing that the crime rates in New York and Detroit have been steadily decreasing, although the crime rate in Detroit is still about three times higher than in New York City
While my top choice for digital literacy is Wolfram Alpha, there are some other resources that are great for understanding, interpreting, and visualizing data.  Here are a few:
  • Gapminder (the software used by Hans Rosling in his many, many TED Talks)
  • Worldmapper (territories are scaled/resized according to the subject of interest)
  • Measure of America (look at interactive maps and data about Social Science in the U.S.)
  • Human Development Reports (explore public data from the United Nations using a variety of visualizations)
  • Visual.ly (create your own infographic around a set of data)
  • Many Eyes (from IBM, create a visualization around your data)
  • Google Trends (explore how a search term has fared over time)
  • Google Correlate (find searches that correlate with real world data)
  • Google Fusion Tables (fuse two sets of data together and visualize)
There are also a few sites that do a fantastic job of creating and sharing data visualizations:

 

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Web Tools to Enhance Learning

Jun 1, 2012 by

Here’s a new mindmap containing my recently organized collection of great sites and tools for learning and teaching.  The collections are:

  • Google Sites and Apps
  • Video Collections
  • Synchronous Communication Tools
  • Asynchronous Communication Tools
  • Mindmapping Tools
  • Data Visualization
  • Scheduling, Appointments, and Information Collecting

Mindmap: Web Tools to Enhance Learning

To see more digital mindmaps, go to Resources: Mindmaps.

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David McCandless: Data Detective

Aug 23, 2010 by

I just finished watching the TED Talk by David McCandless called “The Beauty of Data Visualization” and it is stunningly awesome! In the talk, he discusses the importance of understanding the relativeness of data when it is reported in the news.  “Visualizing information is a form of knowledge compression” where we squeeze enormous amount of information and understanding into a small space.  McCandless was not trained in graphic design, but “”being exposed to all this media over the years had instilled a kind of dormant design literacy in me.”  He says he is something of a “data detective” (see his graph “Mountains out of Molehills” in the talk for an example).

Edward Tufte also discusses the importance of data visualization, but he is something of a technology Luddite.  David’s interactive digital data visualization “Snake Oil” is simply awesome and demonstrates a path that “information supergraphics” could take if Tufte were to embrace technology instead of just bashing it (I went to one of Tufte’s workshops last year and I can tell you that the only “good technology” was his iPhone).

If there was ever a video to show a math or statistics class at the beginning of the semester, this might be it.  Of course, then you’ll actually have to DO some data visualization during the semester, but hey – it will keep you honest!

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