What have you noticed about this experiment so far?
Martin: In the beginning I was not having them select the day of the week and then I added that in just
to give us an easier way to look through the data. A large part of this was when students came to school
in the morning, they set their bag down, and pulled their laptops out to do the survey. It was a great way
for them to have a routine in the morning to get ready for school. It was something that occupied just a
few minutes of their time and got them ready.
Now it is a routine to come in, get this survey done, and come to our morning meeting circle.
What was it like sharing the interactive data visualization with your class?
Martin: It was great to finally show the kids and have them look at it. The thing I knew they wanted to
do was figure out who they were - which one of the bubbles represented themselves? I think I was a
little nervous about that because I did not want them to say, “Oh, so and so is always grumpy or so and
so is always sleepy”
They were really excited and just continuing to click and look at the different connections that they had.
They were able to start making more of those connections and having those points to share with the
whole class. They were excited, but they were really excited just to explore it on their own but also to
share it with their friends. I think data might not always be exciting but they were really excited about
this set of data. It [the data] was theirs; they owned it; every piece of it comes from our classroom. The
interface is so rewarding for them to see the size of the different circles and how they either grow or
shrink in relation to the amount of people in the data.
It went really well! I think the kids would have spent another 20 minutes looking at it if they had the
time; I think that they will all go home with it and pull it out and look at it more. My hope is that they
share it with their parents and look through it and say ‘Oh this is me!’ Maybe the parents will make
some connections about how their kid is really sleepy or their kid is hungry or ...you know there might
be some changes.
How do you think this data experiment might change your classroom?
Martin: One thing I hope for is that the kids that don’t read so much will notice that; maybe they will
have a little more incentive to read longer. I hope the kids who say “Oh yeah I am the one who is always
sleepy” can take a little ownership of that on their own to do something about it. It is hard for 10 year-olds to tell Mom “ I want to go to bed earlier.” Maybe something could change.
What are some of your other takeaways from this experiment?
Martin: The biggest thing for me is that I loved collecting data but I had no way to really look at it. So
having this [interactive data visualization] interface makes it something that I can visually see and watch.
The students can see what they’ve done throughout the year. I think without the visualization, it’s a lot
trickier. So having a visual side is really key to interpreting the data. It’s something I would want to
continue to do; it’s something that, in my next classroom, I would want to do. Probably again try having
the kids create the questions and have them have that ownership and buyin.