Thursday, November 12, 2015

Telling stories with data

I was lucky enough to spend two days doing math as if I were a student.  All of the teachers at the workshop were given some data that we care about -- HiSET testing data for all the states that use the HiSET test.

Our task was to tell a story.  Think about that.  We had pages and pages of numbers to look at and it all looked official and concrete and factual.  We had two stories to tell, actually.  The first was to use the data to say how Iowa was doing really well and deserved continued monetary support.  The other story we had to tell was how Iowa is actually struggling and needs money to help bring it up to par.  Below are a few examples of what we created and presented.

My group's effort.  On the left side we left out all the other states in-between to make it look like we were doing way better than everyone else.  On the right-side notice how we manipulated the size of the bars to make it seem like Iowa had a really tiny percent..

Infographics are a powerful way to present information.

Here they added a few sentences to make the story more explicit.

Always question the data!

Teachers can easily adapt this to their classrooms using data that their students care about.  

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