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Thinking Tools

Thinking Tools

Hello Hello I’m David McCandless, a London-based author, writer and designer. I’ve written for The Guardian, Wired and others. I’m into anything strange and interesting. These days I’m an independent data journalist and information designer. A passion of mine is visualizing information – facts, data, ideas, subjects, issues, statistics, questions – all with the minimum of words. I’m interested in how designed information can help us understand the world, cut through BS and reveal the hidden connections, patterns and stories underneath. My pet-hate is pie charts. Our mission Myself, and the rest of the crack team here at Information is Beautiful, are dedicated to distilling the world’s data, information and knowledge into beautiful, interesting and, above all, useful visualizations, infographics and diagrams. Who funds us? This site is entirely funded by sales of images, posters and books. Stay in touch Want to know more? » I created the Helicopter Game, the most addictive game on the internets.

10 ways to encourage student reflection Split Screen Teaching Optimal learning occurs when students are active participants in their own learning, rather than passive recipients of teacher-delivered content. For this to be effective, students really need to think about their learning. I worked with a group of teachers recently who felt their young students were not capable of writing meaningful reflections for their end of semester reports. That might be true. How do we encourage students to think about their learning? 1. Guy Claxton calls this ‘split screen teaching.’ 2. Stop thinking about how to teach the content. 3. Make sure you and your students know the purpose of every task and of how it will advance the learning. 4. Encourage students to plan how they will learn and to reflect on the learning process. 5. Make sure students have time to stop and think about why and how they learned, not just what. 6. How might you find this out? 7. 8. 9. Refer to learning attitudes and skill development, not just tasks and content. 10.

Intute: Encouraging Critical Thinking Online Encouraging Critical Thinking Online is a set of free teaching resources designed to develop students' analytic abilities, using the Web as source material. Two units are currently available, each consisting of a series of exercises for classroom or seminar use. Students are invited to explore the Web and find a number of sites which address the selected topic, and then, in a teacher-led group discussion, to share and discuss their findings. The resources encourage students to think carefully and critically about the information sources they use. A comprehensive Teacher's Guide provides an overview of the course, lesson/seminar outlines, suggestions of illustrative websites, and points for discussion. Teacher's Guide (Units 1 and 2) Printable version (PDF) Resources for Unit 1: Checking Facts and Gathering Opinions Resources for Unit 1 Resources for Unit 2: Gauging and Examining Popular Opinion Resources for Unit 2

6 Alternatives To Bullet Lists Sharebar Bullets make lists of important points easy to read. When those near-perfect little circles are vertically aligned, readers can quickly process the text. Yet too many bullet lists in an eLearning course or slide presentation can be repetitious and mind-numbing. Learners and audiences need novelty to maintain and sustain attention. Here are six bullet alternatives you can create in any graphics program or in PowerPoint. Alternative 1: Use text boxes A simple alternative to a list is to place each item into a a text box that is arranged in a suitable layout. Alternative 2: Let icons do the talking Using the same text boxes as above, this approach adds icons to the words. These icons were found at Iconfinder. You can take this approach one step further by accentuating the graphic more than the words. These icons are courtesy of BuildInternet!. Alternative 3: Let People Speak Your List When you use people cutouts to speak your points, no one will suspect this is a list.

Visual thinking guides This presents nine sources of visual thinking guides: Exploratree, Gamestorming, LexIcon, Education Oasis, TeacherVision, Freeology, Education Place and Writing Fun. Exploratree hosts a set of interactive thinking guides. This is a free web resource where you can use the guides, print them, edit them or make your own. You can share them and work on them in groups. Interactive map: Flash (recommended) PDF (problem?) Here are some of the overall categories, names of individual diagram type and an indication of their purposes. Click the thumbnail to see a full-size image. Develop ideas Solve problems Explore Analyse Different perspectives Gamestorming presents thinking patterns as games, many of them visual, that will help to make meetings and discussions more fruitful and stimulating. $ - $100 Test 3 - 3-12-3 Brainstorm 4 - 4Cs 7 - 7Ps Framework A - Affinity Map; Air Time Mastermind; Argument map; Atomize B - Back of the Napkin; Bodystorming; Boundary matrix; Brainwriting; Break; Build The Checklist

ThinkQuest Socratic Seminar Guidelines: A Practical Guide Balancing Participation: In the first discussion of any group, three to five people will monopolize the conversation right away. This is natural but far from ideal. Ideally, the conversation is equally shared among all of the participants. Those who naturally dominate should be encouraged to listen first and speak later. Those who rarely speak should be encouraged to participate at least once. Try out some of the following ideas to help support this: Limit those who speak often to a certain number of questions and responses. Note that those who talk a lot will become frustrated when they reach their limit and can no longer speak. The leader must resist the temptation to save the participants from the uncomfortable silences! The process takes time and lots of repetition, but the results are powerful.

5 Easy to Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants As the outdoor season approaches, many homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts look for ways to control mosquitoes. With all the publicity about the West Nile virus, mosquito repelling products are gaining in popularity. But many commercial insect repellents contain from 5% to 25% DEET. There are concerns about the potential toxic effects of DEET, especially when used by children. Children who absorb high amounts of DEET through insect repellents have developed seizures, slurred speech, hypotension and bradycardia. There are new DEET-free mosquito repellents on the market today which offer some relief to those venturing outdoors in mosquito season. Here are five of the most effective mosquito repelling plants which are easy to grow in most regions of the US: 1. Citronella is the most common natural ingredient used in formulating mosquito repellents. Citronella is a perennial ‘clumping’ grass which grows to a height of 5 – 6 feet. 2. Horsemint leaves can be dried and used to make herbal tea.

Mindmapping, concept mapping and information organisation software Articles This is the start of a historical survey of visual mapping. It kicks off with one well-known classic example, and follows up with a very interesting map that has more recently come to my attention. I've written about origins of mind mapping before, but now I'm assembling samples. I've also mentioned elsewhere (see the comments) that I'd like to get samples of Idea Sunbursting that Dr. I preserved it in Freezepage when Google closed down Knol. There's a lot to like in the (unrestrained!)

The Resurgence of Flipped Learning Chat « Chantellemorrison's Blog I’ve noticed a revival of the ‘Flipped Learning’ edchat lately. Having trialled Flipped Learning (AKA Pre-learning*) for nearly 12 months, I thought it would be helpful to share what I’ve gleaned through the process. I’ll do this over a series of 3 blogs; the first blog will focus on how to find appropriate resources and then distribute these resources in a helpful, meaningful way. Before embarking on a flipped learning program, it’s most crucial to decide on your goal for flipped learning. Is it an adjunct to a current homework program? Is it to replace/assist in class explicit teaching? Is it to ensure students are prepared for learning a new topic prior to explicit teaching? Is it for students to realise the gaps in their knowledge of a certain topic and then bring questions forward to the class? If you chose either of the last 2 options, then this blog entry will be of assistance to you. What is it that I want the students to learn/understand? Like this: Like Loading...

Inside the Classroom Door… » Socratic Seminar Guide Socratic Seminar Preparation Guide A Socratic seminar is one where we examine a text for a deeper understanding of the ideas rather than “right” answers. It requires knowledge of the text and using the text to support your thoughts. The questions are mostly open-ended—they invite discussion. When working as a member of a Socratic seminar, the goal is not to prove other people are wrong but to understand the ideas from more than one point of view. As we practiced in our listening skills unit, we look each other in the eye when listening and speaking, we use each other’s first names, and we acknowledge what others said before adding our opinions. You will probably notice many of the questions and skills in the Socratic seminar are similar to those we use in literature circles. The seminar requires you to prepare in advance. · Read the text completely, using sticky notes if it’s a textbook or annotating the text to highlight the most important or key passages. · Spoke loudly and clearly

Sustainable Web Hosting - 10 Sensational Homes Built from Straw | green-building Written by Ryan Hollitz | 19 December 2009 Posted in Blog - Green Building New building materials could really make your house green from the ground up! Straw! via [] In the classic story of the Three Little Pigs‚ a naive piglet decides to build his home out of straw, which soon gets the huff and puff treatment by a big bad wolf, resulting in the poor little pig's untimely end. Many may wonder why a person would want to build a home made out of straw, but apart from providing a place to hide from the big bad wolf, they have some substantial benefits. Read on to discover just how right that first little pig was to build his home out of straw. Photos: Brett Weinstein/Realty Advocates 1. This unique, beautiful straw bale home in Oakland, California recently carried a $1.1 million price tag. Photo: JD Peterson 2. This gorgeous home, perched on owner Henry Siegel's 2 1/2-acre leafy lot, offers panoramic views and cozy comfort. Photo: University of Bath 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

5 Brilliant Music Videos Created By Students Added by Jeff Dunn on 2012-10-28 Bringing classical music to students is not always easy. Except when you incorporate the hottest pop artists into it. Then students and kids around the world will be more than happy to listen. At least that’s the idea behind Collective Cadenza (CDZA), a group that invents “musical video experiments” that mashup today’s hits with the classics of, well, classical music. The group started out at Julliard and turned into quite the mob with more than 55 musicians helping to create some memorable tracks. How To Get Kids Into Classical Music The Human Jukebox 8 Milestones in Recorded Sound The History of Whistling An Abridged History of Western Music in 16 Genres Comments are closed.