This Is What Learning Looks Like: Using Analytic Tools to Visualise Classroom Twitter Conversations


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Presentation for the Online Educa Berlin conference, November 30-December 2, 2011.

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  • Jocelyn Wallace - Visual Thinking According to a Pew Internet and American Life study (Smith & Rainie, 2010), only 8% of Americans use Twitter. While that number is higher for college-age students (18-29 years of age), it is still lower (14%) than other social media tools such as Facebook. Despite the fact that young people are touted to be tech-savvy, Twitter use, particularly in educational settings may be a new experience for them (e.g., Smith, Caruso, & Kim, 2010). Smith, S., Caruso, J. B., & Kim, J. 2010. ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2010. EDUCAUSE . Retrieved October 25, 2010, from Smith, A., & Rainie, L. (2010). 8% of online Americans use Twitter. Pew Internet and American Life Project .
  • Information visualisation can be thought of as a cognitive tool that expands our ability to comprehend, interpret, and explore data that is too complex for our working memory to manage – a way to represent information that would be difficult to comprehend visualisation allows the perception of emergent properties that were not anticipated (Malamed, 2009).
  • Envisioning Information – Introduction (p. 9)
  • The Ardèche, a mountainous region in south-central France where cave networks are a common geological phenomenon (hundreds are known, dozens with ancient artifacts). It was here, a week before Christmas in 1994, that three spelunkers exploring the limestone cliffs above the Pont d’Arc, a natural bridge of awesome beauty and scale which resembles a giant mammoth straddling the river gorge, unearthed a cave that made front-page news. It proved to contain the oldest known paintings in the world—some fifteen to eighteen thousand years older than the friezes at Lascaux and at Altamira , in the Spanish Basque country—and it was named for its chief discoverer, Jean-Marie Chauvet. The paintings discovered in the Chauvet Caves date back 32,000 years ago.
  • Of the five senses, vision is the most powerful and dominant. Bandwidth of the senses – convert that notion into computer terms – Tor Norretranders is a Danish scholar The User Illusion (1999). Visuals help us think. They provide us with new ways of seeing things and new approaches to solving problems. Visual thinking is an integral aspect of cognition, and the visualizing of abstract concepts helps us understand the world and communicate about it. No matter what you call them - diagrams, charts, graphs, visualizations, maps, and timelines - their purpose is the same - to concretize abstract ideas and concepts (see Malamed, 2009).
  • Because of the sheer quantity of information relayed through technology, some have called imagery "the new public language." Visual communication is fitting for a multilingual, global culture. – Malamed, C. (2009). Malamed, C. (2009). Visual language for designers . Beverly, MA: Quayside Publishing Group.
  • You can create texture with text that captures attention. Meaning is expressed in two levels – 1) the words formed by the text type; and 2) the texture conveys meaning through design.
  • Portwiture grabs photography from Flickr that matches the content of your most recent Twitter updates. The result is a serendipitous visual representation of your Twitter profile.
  • Software studies Use & evaluate software Limitations & biases Influence Analyse and produce visualisations Visual literacy Functional literacy (Selber, 2004)
  • It should always be about the information first. “ Eye candy” “ Chart junk” graphics (Card et al., 1999; Tufte, 1990) Graphical integrity/distortion (Tufte, 1983) Ease-of-use Less familiar with data sets Mislead/confuse consumers Evaluation of effectiveness Criteria, measurements, methods??? Experience subjectivity
  • Programs & Disciplines Centers (e.g., National Visual Analytics Centers) Technology, art, science (van Wijik, 2005) Humanities Visualisation Tools Visualisation “explosion” (see Bertin, 1983) More easy-to-use options, smarter software that helps users determine which type of visual to use, as well as other design options such as effective colors Geo-spatial mashups (e.g., geo-spatial analysis with Google Maps) More network analysis tools and support Collaborative analysis – Many Eyes is one example Predictive models – what-if analysis Interactive, multitouch computer interface Visualisation in virtual worlds, like Second Life Mobile applications  Public participation
  • This Is What Learning Looks Like: Using Analytic Tools to Visualise Classroom Twitter Conversations

    1. This Is What Learning Looks Like: Using Analytic Tools to Visualise Classroom Twitter Conversations Sharon Stoerger Online Educa Berlin Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 [email_address]
    2. Agenda <ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Information Visualisation </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter +Infovis = TwInfoVis </li></ul><ul><li>Visualising Learning </li></ul><ul><li>The Future </li></ul>
    3. What is Twitter? <ul><li>Microblogging </li></ul><ul><li>Easy-to-use </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Broadcast </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Backchannel </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relationships </li></ul>
    4. Does tweeting feel like this?
    6. What is information visualisation? <ul><li>Functions (Bertin, 1983) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Record information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is not… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just about numbers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dry and boring </li></ul></ul>
    7. Q: WHY SHOULD I VISUALISE? <ul><li>The world is complex, dynamic, multidimensional; the paper is static, flat. How are we to represent the rich visual world of experience and measurement on mere flatland? </li></ul><ul><li>-Edward Tufte (1990) </li></ul>
    8. Not New – Chauvet Caves
    9. Sensing Flowers <ul><li>Data…the new soil? (McCandless, 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>The language of the eye (Norretranders, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Vision > other senses (Medina, 2008) </li></ul>
    10. Today? ~50M tweets per day!
    11. <ul><li>When I tweet [paint], my object is to show what I have found and not what I am looking for. </li></ul><ul><li>-Picasso </li></ul>
    12. Twitter Information Visualisation (TwInfoVis) <ul><li>Communication Visualisation </li></ul><ul><li>Data Visualisation </li></ul><ul><li>Statistical Visualisations </li></ul><ul><li>Map & Geographic Visualisations </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network Visualisations </li></ul>
    14. Tweet Topic Explorer
    15. Twitterfall
    17. Word & Text Clouds Wordle, Tagxedo, Many Eyes
    18. Portwiture
    20. TweetStats
    21. The Archivist
    23. Trendsmap <ul><li>“ A real-time mapping of Twitter trends across the world.” </li></ul>
    24. Truthy
    26. Twitter Friends Network Browser
    27. Revisit  
    28. Visualisation  Visual Literacy <ul><li>Capture discussions graphically </li></ul><ul><li>Present & interact visually </li></ul><ul><li>Show relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze visualisation tools (Manovich, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>See the story beneath the surface </li></ul>
    29. Concerns? Information First!
    30. What’s Next? A Visualisation “Explosion”
    31. Thank You!!! <ul><li>Sharon Stoerger </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @csoleil </li></ul><ul><li>More Information: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>