Monday, 16 May 2016

Displaying Data Visually

Over the past few weeks I have worked with students in different year levels to consider how data can be represented visually.
Here is the developmental sequence within the Digital Technologies curriculum:

Prep to Year 2: Collect, explore and sort data, and use digital systems to present the data creatively (ACTDIP003)

Year 3 and Year 4: Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems (ACTDIP009)

Year 5 and Year 6: Acquire, store and validate different types of data, and use a range of software to interpret and visualise data to create information (ACTDIP016)

In Year 2 and Year 3, I  introduced the idea of displaying data visually using glyphs. A glyph is a picture that shows data using a particular code. The glyph itself is a visual display of data, but follow up activities could involve students looking at glyphs created by classmates to make tallies in a table, to create graphs about various attributes or to look for patterns and trends. You can read more about using glyphs in the classroom and see more examples in this article.

With my Year 2 students, we took a basic image I had created of a gingerbread man and used a glyph code I had found online to decorate the gingerbread man in the Drawing Pad app.
Students saved the image from the webpage I had shared with them and then placed it on the "paper" background so they could add embellishments without the gingerbread man moving all over the place. After I had done the activity with a few classes, one of the Year 2 students showed me how you can stamp the image to the background to achieve pretty much the same affect. This is why I like working with Year 2 students. Someone always learns something in every lesson - and it's usually me.

To brighten up my new classroom space, I had the Year 3 students create their glyphs using paper. They made owls using a template I created and a code that I shared with them on the webpage for Year 3.
They look great on the wall and the display has attracted interest from students in other classes as well who have looked for patterns and trends among the attributes of the Year 3 students using the data displayed in the glyphs.

In Year 6, the students have had a few introductory experiences using the Numbers spreadsheet app, entering data, playing with different cell formats and data types, and creating charts. We are now working towards creating their own infographics using Canva. Infographics are a great way to explore different ways of displaying data visually.

from Hot Butter Studio


  1. Fantastic idea. I love the little owls and how each one looks so individual. Must try this.

  2. Thank you so much for such an amazing fantastic idea please keep sharing
    Education can change the world

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Nice Post.

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