First, I'd like to give a big tip o' the Zenpundit hat to Dave Davison of Thoughts Illustrated for bringing the following links to my attention. Ever since Critt Jarvis connected the two of us last Spring, Dave has steadily enriched my thinking by introducing me to new ideas and thought leaders, something I much appreciate.
Visualizing information is becoming an increasingly important tool in business, government and education for allowing people to understand, comprehend and manipulate large amounts of data quickly and effectively. Both the Intelligence Community concerned with analyzing threats to our national security and private sector tech companies interested in buildingWeb2.0applications are diving deepinto visualization techniques. If you use power point presentations for business on an extensive basis may be familiar with the work ofEdward Tufte, a leading expert in the field of visualizing information.
In teaching children or adults, I frequently make use of diagrams or have students create their own visual formats in order to get them to integrate concepts and make connections that previously might have gone unnoticed. Some very important aspects of history and some areas of the sciences ( say, modern physics) are counterintuitive - they run against our natural logic of how the situation "should" play out. Practicing visualization of information can bring these non-obvious elements to light, make them more concrete and stimulate students to ask questions.
Combining symbolic visual formats and text also engages multiple regions of the viewer's brain when they "read" it, possibly making the information more meaningful to a larger group of students with different learning styles.
mark; thanks for the hat-tip! I believe i am getting close to an AHA! leap in the way I am seeing things on the WEB - and I will try to synthesize my ANT TRAIL in cyberspace by collecting the most useful posts into a synthesized version (the reverse chrono posting process and the blogger archives don't cut it)