Friday, October 15, 2010

Google Fusion Tables - Data Visualization Made Easy

Over the last two days at ACTEM's annual conference I've shared Google Fusion Tables to great response. Many people commented that they had never heard of it, but really liked it and plan to explore it some more on their own. This post is a follow-up to yesterday's conversations. I originally wrote most of this post last winter.

Google Fusion Tables is a neat spreadsheet application that makes it easy to create visualizations of data sets. Fusion Tables can also be used to create visualizations of data set comparisons. At its most basic level Fusion Tables can be used to visualize existing data sets with one click. At a deeper level, Fusion Tables can be used to compare your own data sets and create visualizations of those comparisons. The types of visualizations available include tables, maps, charts, and graphs. As a Social Studies teacher, I really like the map visualization options.

Applications for Education
For the visual learners in your classroom, Google Fusion Tables could be an excellent tool for showing the various ways that data can be interpreted. Fusion Tables also provides students with a fairly easy way to compare their own data sets.  

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google for Teachers II - Free Ebook
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers
12 Resources All Social Studies Teachers Should Try

Best of the EdTech Web 2010

This morning I gave another presentation at ACTEM's annual conference. The room was packed to see my high-energy, fast-paced Best of the Web 2010. All of the slides from that talk are embedded below. To clarify, I only included sites that I discovered in the last 12 months.

Ed Tech PD at MacWorld 2011

It's always good to see "mainstream" technology conferences embrace education. Yesterday, I learned that MacWorld 2011 will include an educator track. The educator track will feature some excellent educators teaching others how to leverage technology to improve students' learning experiences. Some of the educators presenting at MacWorld 2011 that have been previously mentioned on Free Technology for Teachers include Rushton Hurley, Ken Shelton, Jon Corippo, and Jim Sill. If you're in the San Francisco area, it will be worth your time to attend MacWorld 2011 for the professional development opportunities available there.