Jun 16 2011
5 Google Tools #5 – Google Fusion Tables
The final tool is another one that I really had no idea even existed. This one has similar functionality to Google Docs-Spreadsheets, but makes it quite a bit easier to make graphs, maps, charts, etc. The most useful iteration of this is the creation of an intensity map, or “heat map.”
If you had your students collect data on, say, the distribution of students in the class or school by zip code, you could then create an intensity map to illustrate that. It also has line, pie, chart graphs, timelines, and one of the coolest ones ever–motion graph. (If you have never seen a motion graph, check out this 20-minute video by Hans Rosling on TED Talks, or visit gapminder.org.)
I can see this tool being very useful in science, math, social studies/history, and more. Understanding data is one of the most valuable skills to learn while in school, and the more ways we can visualize that data, the better.
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