David Warlick Ryann Warlick Martin Warlick
Shakabuku Infographics Video

Farmville vs Real Farms

Here’s an interesting comparison between virtual world games and how people behave in them, compared to the real world.  This infographic comparers various statistics between Farmville farms, from Facebook and real farms across the country and around the world.  Interestingly, while 930 million acres are farmed in the US, Farmville players cultivate 500 million acres.  I’m wondering what kind of discussions might be generated from examining this graphic.

Blog Page: http://goo.gl/oM3y3i

Graphic Image: http://goo.gl/0lF9Ab

Inside the International Space Station

life-on-the-international-space-station_52af966d06edaTo go up into space and live for a period of time is the dream of many children, but one that is reached by few adults. It takes a peak of physical health, a high level of intelligence, and a great deal of training. There are also a great deal of people who meet these criteria, and so they then must go through a stringent weeding out process, following by intense training.

Once one reaches the space station, it is a tight fit with little human contact. Thanks to modern technology, the astronauts are able to communicate with their colleagues, and maybe even family back on Earth. But even modern technology cannot give these astronauts a gourmet meal, a luxurious bed, or an overly pleasant experience. These men and women are there to work, and work during the majority of their waking hours.

But the space program does now have an education program for grade schools. It allows schools to submit experiments to be performed in space, which the astronauts will record and discuss in a short segment. Do your students have any experiments they want to happen in space?

Blog: http://visual.ly/life-international-space-station

100 Years of Change

Ask your students to imagine the world in 1913. Do they think of fashion, lack of modern technology, impending world crisis? Would any of them chose to go back and live in 1913? Based on this infographic, life was very different 100 years ago.

Choose a few of the ways life has changed and ask your students to share how they think it is different. For instance, what is on the list of top five companies today and 100 years ago. What was the average income, and what was the percentage of people with a high school diploma. Do your students think this is better or worse?

Blog: http://visual.ly/100-years-change

Superbugs

Superbugs_52b5e064389f0There is a growing problem in the United States, and that is the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. For several decades nearly every concerned parent has brought their children to the doctor for every cough, sneeze, and minor infection. Antibiotics are among the most prescribed category of medications (this information is based on experience in a pharmacy a few years ago).

Because of this overmedication, an increasing number of bacteria are resistant to common antibiotics. New medications are having to be created, but some bacteria seem to be adapting faster than the new medications can be developed.

This infographic goes into the science behind the the resistance of bacteria, and what can be done about it. Poll your class about whether this is a problem that needs to be addressed, or if it is simply a hiccup in human existence. Also, what can be done to help this problem? What do your students already do that is suggested, and can your students come up with any other solutions?

Blog: http://visual.ly/superbugs-0

A Perspective of Time

APerspectiveonTime_526027e81ba41In history, perspective is very important. It is important to realize that our lives take up a very small portion of time, and even modern era, no matter when historians put the beginning of modern time, is a very small portion of time. However, in that time, many significant events have occurred.

Have your students brainstorm some of the most significant events in all of history that have helped create life as it is today. Do your students only think back as far as cell phones, or maybe the personal computer, do they go beyond to the colonization and later independence of America, or even further to early theorists such as Aristotle. Do they recognize the events that had to have occurred in order to for America to be colonized, and then for computers to be handheld?

Blog: http://visual.ly/perspective-time

What are the Odds?

what-are-the-odds_50290d9b95578What are the odds that you exist? No doubt this is something few people have thought about, but according to this infographic, the odds are 0. Luckily, this world has you, and hopefully luckily, the world has every one of your students. In teaching odds, this would be an interesting infographic to share.

Beginning with the chances of your parents meeting the odds are increasingly less likely. Then, once your parents have met, the infographic goes into the odds of a specific egg and sperm meetings (this infographic may be reserved for only the most mature of students), and creating you. On top of this, as this infographic shares, your existence is dependent upon not only these events, but these events occurring for every one of your ancestors.

Dealing with odds, exponents, and other various mathematics, this would be a great infographic for the math classroom. Share this infographic with your students, and hopefully they will realize how lucky they are. And hopefully this feeling of luck will make them want to learn more, rather than live a crazier life.

Blog: http://visual.ly/what-are-odds

East Meets West

Yang Liu was born in China, but has lived in German since she was 14. A celebrated designer, Liu recently released a graphic exhibit that illustrates her observations about differences between East (China) and West (Germany). The exhibit has been re-interpreted as a series of Infographics.  Just Google “yang liu east meets west.”  Brain Pickings author, Maria Popova wrote,

Liu has a unique grip of this cultural duality — and she channels it with great wit and eloquent minimalism in graphics that say so much by showing so little. (Popova, 2013)

Two similar exhibits (left) were installed in Berlin, two in Beijing, and 1 in Nanjing. Liu, though initially apprehensive, says that the response to her interpretations have been positive in both Germany and China.

Perhaps the most elegant part of Yang’s graphic is its simplicity or minimalism. ..which might give learners a unique opportunity to draw conclusions about the differences between people and life in China compared to the West and then look for evidence that supports their conclusions. 

 

Popova, M. (2013). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2009/10/29/east-vs-west-yang-liu-infographics/

Why I’m Speaking to Science Teachers

Yesterday, Tim Holt wrote “Why I am At a Science Conference,” describing his work at this week’s Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST), and why it is so important that we edubloggers and techspeakers should be sharing our messages into other communities of interest, science teachers for instance. I agree. I’ve tried, for years, to get into social studies conferences. When I succeed, it’s to do a concurrent session, and only 12 teachers showed up. It’s part of the nature of the profession, that we owe our professional identity to our particular area of specialty.

I have keynoted foreign language conferences, library conferences, administrator, and even book publisher, real-estate developer and farmer conferences. Perhaps the most receptive to my particular message are school boards conferences. But Tim is right. Little of this actually makes it into classrooms, especially the “Common Core” classrooms.

Part of my Kerbal Space Program Diary
One of my early attempts into orbit, achieving a spectacular fall after a 35 meter ascent.
At about 26 Kilometers, my Kerban pilot decided to do a space walk. Alas he locked his keys in the capsule and burned up during the descent.
These three Kerbans made it into an orbit whose apogee was around 1.4 million kilometers and perigee was somebody’s basement on the far side of Kerbal.

Holt referred to the fact that I too will also be speaking to Science teachers this week, in Charlotte, at one of the regional conferences of the National Science Teachers Association – and my efforts to tailor my presentation to that audience. I admit some concern about speaking to science teachers, because I taught social studies, and my examples tend to be more social studies oriented – though I would maintain that any good social studies teacher is also teaching science, math, health, literature, and everything else. It’s all societal.

Tim mentioned me because of a string of posts I made to Facebook and Twitter yesterday, reporting my progress in playing with Kerbal Space Program, a sandbox-style game that has the player designing, building, and flying space craft, on missions from the planet Kerbal. It’s been fun, regardless of my immigrant clumsiness with video games – though I am experiencing some pride in finally getting a manned (well a Kerban-piloted) space craft into orbit. It cost the lives of 12 fellow kerbans and several billion $kerbols worth of hardware. ;-)

Holt writes,

And although (David’s) message is VERY general, it is at least a start. He is trying to tailor the message to the audience by demoing the Kerbal Space Program online game (https://kerbalspaceprogram.com) so good for him. But those opportunities are few and far between.

These opportunities rare and priceless. ..and forgive me if I seem overly sensitive and even defensive, but there is nothing general about this. The message is singular and it is revolutionary. It has nothing to do with, “Look, here’s something that you can do in your classroom with technology.” It is,

Look, here’s what many of your students are doing outside your classroom. It’s fun, but it’s work. It’s hard work. And it is entirely about learning. The energy of our students’ youth culture is not based on how high you can jump or fast you can run. It is neither wit nor the appealing symmetry of your face. The energy of their culture is the ability to skillfully and resourcefully learn and to inventively employ that learning.”

My message is that children are entering our classrooms with learning skills that, although based on long understood pedagogies, they are skills that we are too often ignoring and sometimes even handicapping. When I say that we “chop their tentacles off,” it’s not about cutting them off from technology. We’re amputating their access to the learning skills that they are so effectively developing outside our classrooms – their avenues to personally meaningful accomplishment.

Perhaps those of us who have chosen to pursue education technology or have been seduced by its potentials are in a unique position to notice our children’s ’native’ learning skills – more so than science or social studies teachers. But we all must be careful to shed the glow of tech, and get right down to the point of being educated in this time of rapid change.

It’s not about being taught.

It’s about becoming a learner.

 

Top 10 Most Visited Cities – 2013

I suspect that many more of us, today, travel to distant lands, more frequently, than ever before. So where do we go?

MasterCard has just released its Top 20 Global Destination Cities for 2013. Many will not surprise you, but some, perhaps, may. Here is an infographic that shows the top ten.

It might be useful to ask students to research one of the top cities, and/or the tourist attractions that draw people. Why do we go there? What interests us about them? Is it leisure, interest, adventure, or something else? An interesting research and report project with practical value, producing infographics to convince community members to visit their destination of choice.

The Whizzpopping World of Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl had quite an imagination. Reading through this list of books that Dahl wrote, it would be interesting to see what was going through his brain. What this infographic also shares is the inspiration behind his book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and some facts related to his book, James and the Giant Peach.

Choose a book that you are reading, or a favorite of a student, and try to find out the inspiration for the book. Is it based on an event, something that happened in to the author, or something they wish would happen? Using math and science, try to discover something factual about a book. How far do they travel in the Lord of the Rings?

Create an infographic based on this data, especially information discovered by science and math. This infographic shows the heigh of Roald Dahl next to his giant peach.

Blog: http://visual.ly/whizzpopping-world-roald-dahl

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Photo taken by Ewan McIntosh in a Taxi in Shanghai

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Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network
2nd Edition (2012)

Redefining Literacy 2.0 (2008)
Classroom Blogging
(2007) • Lulu
• Amazon
Raw Materials for the Mind
(2005)

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