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Making Meaning – Perceiving Reality – Visualization

March 29th, 2010 2 comments

First of all – check out the webcasts – It’s all about the images!

March 18 – Perceiving Reality: Visualization
Recordings: 3:15pm WebCast | 7:15pm WebCast

From the caves of Lascaux to the dense infographics of today, visualization has played an important part in communication. In the webinar, we spent a lot of time looking at different visualizations and discussing them, their purposes and their special features. For example, maps are visual tools that help people navigate, plan strategies, and can even give information about the inhabitants of areas. It is amazing to compare maps to satellite images to see the accuracy of mapmakers.

When we look at some of the visualizations that are produced digitally, we can see that there are two features that make for good visualization – how much information we take in at a glance, and how dense the information can be when we pay closer attention.

As we look at these graphics, we find ourselves coming in contact with data in a different way, a way that our students may be better at handling than we are. Because many of us grew up using words and numbers to make meaning, we might not be able to extract meaning at the same rate or efficacy that a “screenager” might. But, as teachers, we understand literacy and fluency are skills that can be developed as part of a learning process. Some academics call this visual literacy.

To help us expand out thinking about visualization, let’s see if we can think of some widely different ideas and ask – Is this a form of visualization?

How about a red traffic light? A walk signal? A mathematical equation? Musical notation – an orchestral score? Models and simulations? Guitar Hero?

Now let’s explore how we can use the MLTI laptop to make some visualizations for our classrooms. We can easily use any of the spreadsheets and databases, like Numbers, NeoOffice, Omini Graph Sketcher, Google Docs, Bento, Data Studio and Logger Pro to create graphs and charts from collections of data. We can use Omni Graffle to create all sorts of graphic organizers from the templates included, or use FreeMind to make mind maps. Pasco’s MyWorld can help connect data to location to create some amazing geographical visualizations.

We discussed visualizations that made a difference to us.  my choice was the Mandelbrot Set – it helped me deal with the mathematics of fractals and chaos – and it’s pretty.

To be completely honest, it is tough to just write about visualization, therefore I invite you to browse through the following resources:

Weblinks to many Infographics:

Olympic Pictograms Through the Ages – Video Feature – NYTimes.com

Information Is Beautiful | Ideas, issues, concepts, subjects – visualized!

http://infographicsnews.blogspot.com/

5 Best Data Visualization Projects of the Year | FlowingData

15 beautifully illustrated infographics for your inspiration – FrancescoMugnai.com – Graphic Design Inspiration and Web Design Trends

30 new outstanding examples of data visualization  – FrancescoMugnai.com – Graphic Design Inspiration and Web Design Trends

Creation of Visuals/Infographics

Tableau Public | explore, create, share.

http://www.swivel.com/

Tutorial effort – FreeMind – free mind mapping software

Writing and Essay Using FreeMind

bubbl.us | Home

VocabGrabber : Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus

Visual Understanding Environment

Tagul   – Gorgeous tag clouds

WordSift – Visualize Text

Text 2 Mind Map – The text-to-mind-map converter

Visual Literacy Links
Visual Literacy Cyberculture and Education

Course: visual-literacy.org: Business (need to register to see demo course for this and the next link)

Visual Literacy: An E-Learning Tutorial on Visualization for Communication, Engineering and Business

Trying to Define Visualization/Visual Literacy

What It’s Like on the Inside: Data Visualization for the Classroom

A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods – You gotta see this one!!!

Standards That Deal With Visual Skills

ASCD on 21st Century Learning

Enguage 21st Century Skills

Maine Learning Results

Other Links to Stuff  (That we might not have talked about…)

Tableau/Read Write Web Contest:

Zooming in the Mandelbrot Set:

Chopin intervals:

Bach Crab Canon on a Mobius Strip:

Graphical Score of Beethoven’s 5th – first movement:

Great Thanks to Barbara Greenstone for her fun links and to Barbara and Cynthia Curry for their Visualization Notebook

March 18 Webinar – Making Meaning – Perceiving Reality – Visualization

March 15th, 2010 4 comments

elod-eye on Flickr

Visualization is a term that is thrown around somewhat indiscriminately. This webinar is designed as a way to dip into visualization and to help educators get a grip on understanding the subject and think about how it applies to their classrooms. Woven into visualization is the topic of visual literacy, a skill that is considered by many to be crucial to the whole idea of literacy. This webinar will combine the ideas and take the position that visualization is a skill that is specified in Maine Learning Results and 21st Century skills. The MLTI image, and other resources provide tools that can create visualizations and/or help develop visual literacy. Come join us on that Thursday for either of the two sessions.

3:15 session

http://stateofmaine.na4.acrobat.com/mlti031810a/

 7:15 session

http://stateofmaine.na4.acrobat.com/mlti031810e/