Minds that are Asking Questions

Quick Pict in ND
A quick pict while speeding north in North Dakota

I’m in Minot, North Dakota, about as far north as you can go in the U.S. and still be urban.  I’m in a wonderful suite at the Grand International Hotel, where I’ll be working, today, with the North Dakota Engineering Technologies Pathways project, a grant from NSF to promote STEM education.  I rode up from Bismarck yesterday, with RebeccaSavelkoul, the project coordinator.  They actually have a fairly broad range of aims, and today I’ll be working mostly with  technology leaders from across the state.  Tonight starts one of their two annual state ed-tech conferences.

Those who have seen me present recently know that I’m trying to get into the habit of starting my sessions with something I’ve just learned.  It’s part of a concept that is increasingly surfacing in my conversations, that teachers, today, must not only be master learners, but they should also demonstrate/model their learning lifestyle.

Yesterday, I didn’t know about this really cool mashup, a tool for visualizing industry campaign contributions for the past 10 years.  The circles represent various industry sectors, and as you drag the bar (at the bottom) to the right, along the years, the balls adjust their positions, indicating their contributions along the Republican and Democratic axis.

Give it a try!

What impresses me about this sort of interactive visualization is that it compels us to ask questions.  Why is that ball doing that?  Why did that ball change directions?  Minds that are asking questions, are ripe for learning.

I want to learn more about APIs.  Brenda promises a lighter October.

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.