Mind That Gap

In a stack of papers called Instruction.

  • Aug
  • 06
  • 2008

Watching some Ted videos several weeks back, I came across a Hans Rosling presentation. This guy is bristling with energy, obviously excited about his topic. That’s how I want to be every day in the classroom because that’s contagious. Gotta keep up the energy ’cause, out of everyone in that classroom, you are the most interested in today’s subject; if you aren’t excited about the topic, no one else will be.

That’s the gap between teachers and students, one we need to mind with everything we do: handouts, instruction, activities, lecture, homework, discussion, etc.

In addition to that observation, what comes from this presentation is that Gapminder World looks like the most interesting way to look at statistics since… sliced bread, I guess. Select your x- and y-axes, select the countries you want to track, and click play. There are lots of other possibilities with this tool, but that’s the basic run of it. Frankly, I’m lost with how to make much use of it. Many of the options are unclear to me and when I click play I’m not sure what trends I’m seeing. Still, I understand some ideas and plan to run a few of these by my English classes in the coming year to work on inference.

I see this as possibly useful in social science, science, and math. The main Gapminder page has tutorials, but I can’t seem to wrap my head around those, either. Maybe you can use it. Have you seen this? Do you have any ideas of how to use it in the classroom? Can you see potential?

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