Many an IDEAS FESTIVAL wants people to think about ‘the way we think, eat, move, build, care, communicate and share information’. Gapminder.org is a phenomenally useful site and resource, particularly for Years 9- 12, though with opportunities to be employed even in the upper primary Years.
Gapminder’s primary focus is on using statistics to explore developmental issues (and to perhaps debunk myths). This VERY USEFUL site contains interactive graphs related to development issues (via the Gapminder World tab), videos, downloads, notes and other resources for teachers. The interactive graphs [press PLAY] are particularly appealing and offer potential lessons in a number of subjects; they initially load a modern set of data but can be played (and paused) to run from 1809 to the present (or, in some cases, to some projected year in the near future). Statistics used to create graphs can also be reconsituted to display against a global map. The videos are also informative, with great potential to engender discussion. The site would perhaps work best with Year 9s and above but, with teacher assitance and judicous selection of what is used, the site offers pedagogical potential from Year 6 onwards. One glitch was found: tutorial videos such as ‘Learn to select indicators…’ would not load for the evaluator. The issue may be bandwidth or speed of connection.