America Divided: Teaching Media Literacy and Political Polarization

» 21 October 2014 » In How To, Strategies » No Comments

pew political polarization

The Pew Research Center has just released an update to its research series on political polarization in the American public. It provides engaging data visualizations and survey tools that are ideal for teachers and students of American government and politics. It's also a great opportunity to explore news media literacy and critical thinking skills. 

For more ideas on teaching politics join #sschat on Twitter on Monday Nov 3 at 7 PM (Eastern) for “Election ’14: Teaching Politics, Controversy and Civic Engagement”

I will be guest hosting #sschat with my social studies methods students @EdMethods.

The Pew political polarization research is based on a national survey of over 10,000 U.S. adults conducted by the Pew Research Center. There is an online version of that survey Where Do You Fit in the Political Typology? Teachers can create a “community group” and have their students sign in when taking the survey. You will be sent a link to your quiz page, which you should use when sharing the quiz with your community or group. After at least five members of the group have taken your quiz, you will be able to view the aggregate results on the group results page, which compares your group’s overall results with the general public's.

Next, I would recommend reviewing the interactive graphs that demonstrate political polarization between 1994 and 2014. The new survey finds that as ideological consistency has become more common, it has become increasingly aligned with partisanship. Looking at 10 political values questions tracked since 1994, more Democrats now give uniformly liberal responses, and more Republicans give uniformly conservative responses than at any point in the last 20 years

I would asks student to explore Political Polarization & Media Habits. When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. There is little overlap in the news sources they turn to and trust. And whether discussing politics online or with friends, they are more likely than others to interact with like-minded individuals, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

Students will enjoy exploring the sortable tables: Audience Profiles & Media Habits. There they can compare the audience profiles from diverse sources such as Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Colbert Report and the Glenn Beck Program.

Fox news

colbert report

Trust Levels of News Sources by Ideological Group

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quantify Culture with NGram Viewer and NY Times Chronicle

» 30 September 2014 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Students, Visualizations, Web 2.0 » No Comments

nGram-featured

To demonstrate transformative web-based research tools, my EdMethods students spent time using Books NGram Viewer and NY Times Chronicle – to develop and test hypotheses. Here’s their results.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 Rules of Infographic Excellence

» 14 October 2013 » In Commentary, Visualizations » No Comments

xkcd-featured

xkcd’s brilliant mockery of the explosion of “info-junk” should remind us that the best infographics should efficiently combine quantitative data, prompt pattern recognition and cogent visual storytelling. Perhaps aspiring infographic designers would do well to revisit the work of the Edward Tufte, the guru of the art form. His five rules of “Graphical Excellence” are detailed and illustrated with an example he considers “best narrative graphic of space and time.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Have a Minute for the Shortest TED Talk Ever?

» 19 September 2012 » In Commentary, Presentations, Visualizations » No Comments

shortest-TED featured

Who needs PowerPoint when you have stones? He even finds time to add a reflective question as a kicker. This talk ‘happened’ during a spontaneous interview with Hans Rosling, the famous TED speaker. Hans joined us at the TEDxSummit 2012 in Doha, April 15 — 20, Qatar for another memorable TED talk on global population predictions.

Tags: , , , ,

Infographic – Six Emerging Educational Technologies

» 24 February 2012 » In Commentary, Ed Tech, Social Web, Students, Teachers, Visualizations, Web 2.0 » 1 Comment

Six emerging featured

The 2011 Horizon report identified six new technologies that will affect teaching and learning in the K-12 education community over the next five years. Head to the vendor area of an educational conference and you’ll see a “top-down” vision of innovation in schools – expensive stuff that delivers information – lots of flashy equipment like display systems, interactive whiteboards, etc. They might give the illusion of modern, but in fact they’re just a glitzy versions of the old standby – teaching as telling. In fact, the best innovation in instructional practice is coming from the “bottom up” – from teachers who find effective ways to harness the creative energy of their students. These teachers don’t simply deliver information to kids, they craft lessons where students can research, collaborate, and reflect on what they’re learning. They harness a flood of new platforms that enable students “see” information in new ways and support a more self-directed style of learning.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Following the Backchannel at COSA 11

» 04 August 2011 » In Events, Visualizations » No Comments

cosa-11-small

Here’s your backchannel resource to the 2011 ODE / COSA Summer Assessment Institute in Eugene Oregon. August 3-5, 2011. It features both Wiffiti visualizer and Storify social web curating tool.

Tags: , , , , ,

My TypePad to WordPress Conversion

» 06 July 2011 » In Commentary » 4 Comments

TP2WP

Thinking of migrating from TypePad to WordPress? When I first started blogging back in ’05 I was a bit confused by WordPress, so I opted for TypePad. TypePad has been easy to use, but I’ve enviously watched WordPress evolve into a far superior platform. Here’s how Foliovision smoothly managed my recent move.

Tags: , , , , ,

PBL Resource Site – How to Plan, Manage and Evaluate

» 16 June 2011 » In Strategies, Students » No Comments

stem-pre-conference-featured

Here’s a site I created for my recent project-based learning workshop. You’ll find links to a variety of resources to help teachers get started using a PBL approach in their classrooms – handouts, videos, project ideas – plus tips on how to plan, manage, and evaluate PBL.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Don’t Teach Them Facts – Let Student Discover Patterns

» 07 June 2011 » In Commentary, Strategies, Students » 14 Comments

leaf

It’s unfortunate that student don’t get to use their innate perceptual skills more often in the classroom. Instead of discovering patterns on their own, student are “taught” to memorize patterns developed by someone else. Rather than do the messy work of having to figure out what’s going on and how to group what they see – students are saddled with graphic organizers which take all the thinking out of the exercise. Filling out a Venn diagram isn’t analysis – it’s information filing. Instead of being given a variety of math problems to solve that require different problem-solving strategies, students are taught a specific process then given ten versions of the same problem to solve for homework. No pattern recognition required here – all they have to do is simply keep applying the same procedures to new data sets. Isn’t that what spreadsheets are for?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

SmartPhone – Dumb School

» 26 May 2011 » In Commentary, Social Web, Web 2.0 » 1 Comment

dumb-phone

The school workstation doesn’t “know” students as well as their smartphone does. Their mobile carries a wealth of information that’s important to them. And the school computer doesn’t do “place” at all. That’s a stark contrast to students’ mobiles, which geo-browse via the growing number of locational apps and geo-tagged information stream.

Tags: , , , , , ,