Visualizations for Teaching and Learning

In the book How to Lie with Maps Mark Monmonier claims that “a good map tells a multitude of little white lies; it suppresses truth to help the user see what needs to be seen. Reality is three-dimensional, rich in detail, and far too factual to allow a complete yet uncluttered two-dimensional graphic scale model. Indeed a map that did not generalize would be useless.” Maps are just one type of representation in a rapidly growing field of information visualization, evident by the popularity of websites such as the following:

Any visualization contains gaps and tells an incomplete story. During our discussion, we’ll explore the potential that these gaps hold to create rich learning environments in which students and teachers participate together in the rough and tumble enterprise of deep learning. Join us for a discussion of strategies and examples of how visualizations can facilitate rich dialog and exploration in the classroom.

Mike Winiski

Associate Director, Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Furman University

As Associate Director of Furman's Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Mike collaborates with faculty to design courses and assignments as well as identify and shape technologies to support strategic and course learning goals. He also teaches interdisciplinary courses including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), First Year Seminars, and E-merging Learning Technologies and supports spatial learning initiatives across the campus. In consultations with faculty and students, through the technology and writing center (the StudioLab), CTL strives to support a community of instructional and technology innovation through experimentation and critical and skeptical evaluation of technology. Campus Technology Magazine recently awarded Furman with the technology innovator award in Interactive, Remote, Learning for the collaborative project between Professor Lloyd Benson's Urban History class, Computing and Information Services, and CTL. Another joint project to implement a bio-organic wiki, in which students are solely responsible for creating their own textbook, was recently recognized through the Innovision Technology Awards. Mike programs and has recently been using Python for creating visualizations for teaching. He's also in the home stretch of his second masters--this one in GIS.