Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wordle Fun

I am getting ready to make one of my Weekly Tech Tip videos that I hope will be ready within about a week. State testing obligations have kind of put a wrench in my normal routine and therefore I've not been able to keep up with my regular video production schedule. I also really want this one to to drive some important points home. Since I have to submit all of these to the Minnesota Department of Education for possible inclusion in their iTunesU channel the content of this one I really want to make sure is well done. The topic of the forthcoming video will be on the use of data visualization tools and infographics to improve math comprehension. For my examples I am going to draw data from the standardized testing business we are caught in the grips of. So, while the stated purpose of the video will be to show how to use infographic tools to help people understand numbers the numbers I will be using will hopefully draw some light on the realities of what the decision to let standardized tests be the be all and end all measure of school, teacher, and student success really does.

So, since our state tests limit my bandwidth and my ability to create video I thought I would share some of the infographics I am developing for this future instructional video. Some of these may make it in the video and some may not. But, lets have some fun anyway.

I think I will start by demonstrating a tool that for many of us has become a cliche...Wordle. Now, I am not a huge fan of this tool and at this point I feel like I have seen enough of them. That said, I still think it is a useful tool for analyzing the frequency of terms used in a larger text or speech. So, I today I will apply Wordle to some of the most important documents associated with standardized testing. Perhaps it can show us something, perhaps not, I don't know.

No Child Left Behind Act:

A Nation at Risk:
The Imperative for Educational Reform:

The Principles of Scientific Management (by Fredrick Taylor):

The Core Knowledge Blog:

Well, I'm not entirely sure how these infographics are helpful or what they tell us. One thing that jumps out at me clearly is the absence of the word"Learning" from any of these Wordles.

What do you notice?

What other documents should we apply this to?

Tomorrow I will post something with numbers.

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