Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Learning with Infographics

I've seen some really neat stuff on infographics lately. It's officially Infographics week on the New York Times Learning Network, so I'll be checking that out all week.

Today's entry on Teaching Social Studies, History, and Economics with Infographics has some great interactive maps (such as the one illustrated above, which shows immigration patterns in the United States) and some fun tools, such as one where you can compare your own opinions with those of the US Supreme Court.

Even more impressive is a tool from across the pond.  BBC Dimensions "takes important places, events and things, and overlays them onto a map of where you are." It's a great way to help students understand the geographical scale of current (Gulf oil spill, Pakistani floods)and historical (Beijing circa 1425, Constantinople) events and places. I often have a hard time trying to figure out "how big" something is based on mere numbers--23 square miles means nothing to me. But I know how big Glenview is, and how big Chicago is, so I found this tool to be very helpful in gaining a genuine perspective of the size of these places and events.

I think resources like this can be a very effective way to enhance student experiences and understanding.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Almost time.....

School starts again in just a few days. I'm almost ready to roll out the LibGuides. I think they look okay. Still a work in progress, obviously, but I'm really enjoying the ability to modify them so quickly and to be able to incorporate the kind of features we need to extend the library's services beyond the school walls. To that end, I'm desperately hoping we can get the Reference Chat feature working from on the campus. I think it will be such a great and convenient way for people to access our services.

I've added it to the big list-o-gadgets to the right :) We'll be "manning" it starting 8/24.