I am very excited about some of the tools that were introduced today and have lots of ideas about how these can be integrated into our introductory biology courses in order to help students think about data (representing, visualizing, interpreting). In particular, Gapminder looks to be especially promising for visualizing data – this is a common and non-trivial issue for students learning science. I love the idea of allowing students to play around with variables on axes and explore patterns through time. Way cool!
I am also really excited about the ideas we’ve discussed for our group! We have a great team that is interested in using a case (e.g., Cholera, or other water-borne illness) as a way to contextualize students’ use of several of the tools we learned about today. A well-constructed learning experience (if we accomplish what we talked about) will engage students in the use of multiple technological tools, provide opportunities to explore diverse datasets, and help students see biological connections across scales (e.g., molecular, evolutionary, ecological, etc.).