I’m always a little bit wary of info graphics, largely because as a scientist/mathematician I want to see the raw data too, just to make sure sure I agree with the presentation of the data. However, that doesn’t mean that all info graphics are incorrect and they are increasingly more popular, so teaching students to evaluate them is an important 21st century skill.
The Aside Blog has a fantastic page full of links to various info graphics for you to use in class. I also love the video they highlight by Column Five which talks about specific visualization strategies for presenting data. So if you’re interested in data visualization and info graphics, head on over to the blog and start indulging your inner data geek.
I have just stumbled across the best source for high quality maps of all sorts of wacky types. Over at Reddit there is a group that aggregates great map images. Unfortunately it has an unfortunate name that makes it educational unfriendly, and might get stuck in your schools filter, so be warned. The group is called Map P*rn, which is the unfortunate part, however, the site is moderated and the content is only full of sexy maps.
Tons of old maps, new maps, fantasy maps, enough to satisfy even the most fanatical map loving humanities teacher. Below are a few examples of a few that I found in a minute of browsing.
Students and teachers can collaboratively create and comment on almost anything. When finished you can play back the process. Basically it’s a way to have a non-linear discussion. Comments can be left in text, by voice, or by drawing on the presentation itself.
I’ve seen this tool used very effectively by our Mandarin teacher (@alisonkis on Twitter), for having students submit oral assignments as at home practice. Truly though, this is great for any subject you want students to discuss outside of the class, or in class in a non-linear way.
TED’s tagline is: Ideas Worth Spreading. Sounds like education to me! Some of TED’s talks are great at motivating teachers to teach better; some are great for motivating students to want to learn; others are great specific examples of ideas and topics you may be teaching.
Be careful when you head over to TED.com or you might find yourself chewing up 20 hours of time! It is an addictive place to get motivated.
If you’re interested in using TED Talks on your own website, you can easily click the SHARE button just below the video.
After you have selected SHARE, then you will see various options for embedding. If you are a WORDPRESS user make sure to grab the specific code so that it will show up appropriately in your blog. Otherwise, grab the embed code and insert into your own page.
WolframAlpha has some pretty awesome Widgets in Beta testing right now. In fact you can easily create your own widgets.
Some of these are great for higher level maths, but I think they could be quite useful in the lower grades as well, particularly for investigating patterns. They’re also not just for Math, but could be useful for Biology, Chemistry, Business and Finance, Humanities, and are really open to any good query searches.
RSA Animate videos are some of the most visually appealing ways to experience great ideas! Many of them deal with Humanities related topics, and could be great starting points for discussion in a class. Here are a few examples, and you can find the rest of them at
Frontline is great program produced for PBS by WGBH Boston. There are a variety of current events relating to the sciences and humanities. Best of all, they have tons of FULL EPISODES available to EMBED right into your class page! The videos can even be watched chapter by chapter.
Go to the Frontline page and find the video you would like to put into your page.
After you choose the video and start to watch, you can select EMBED on the right hand side. This will give you a quick pop up window. Choose the size you want the video to be on your site, and then copy the code. Use an EMBED gadget to put the video into your class site!
The videos even come with additional links for media resources. For instance this video I use for my Science class has links (on the Frontline page) to an accompanying article in the Washington Post.
The SocioEconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) has some great data sets and maps displaying various climate and population statistics. This could be a nice set of data for class discussion, or you might use it as a starting point for a class activity that would require students to geotag data sets. Students might be asked to generate questions for inquiry into a topic as well.