Data Become Dynamic

Posted by on May 4, 2009


Last week, Jon Becker threw down this tweet.


Jon rarely leads his followers astray, so I obliged my curiosity and clicked.  I was amazed.  For those of you who haven’t seen the video, prepare yourself to be blown away by data.  Seriously.  At the very least, watch the first eight minutes to get an idea of what Hans Rosling can do with an incredible visualization tool.

The way Rosling is able to present data is clearly profound.  That got me wondering.  The wondering led me to researching, and the researching led me to this.

Google has a module very similar to the tool Rosling used in his presentation.  It’s called Motion Chart, and it’s an available gadget for Google Spreadsheet.  What if we started utilizing a tool like this to help students understand complex data?  Or if we let students use it to help us understand the data?  Or if we used it to help teachers understand all kinds of classroom data?  Or…you get the idea.

Rosling also runs a service called Gapminder where he is working to “unveil the beauty of statistics.”  I, for one, think the world of education could use a whole lot more of that unveiling.  Maybe working with Motion Chart is the place to start.

Thanks to Nils Geylen for the Flickr image.


  1. Doug Belshaw
    May 4, 2009

    Indeed, but have you ever tried using Motion Chart, Ben? I tried when Google first rolled it out and found it somewhat confusing, to say the least… 😮

  2. Matt T
    May 4, 2009

    This was cool.


Leave a Reply