Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Eighth Stop...Computational Thinking

Working in libraries we interact with and track a variety of data.  We compile data on the number of programs offered in our branches; the number of attendees;  how much time volunteers work with and support us; how many readers complete the Summer Reading program; and more.  We also receive data in the form of feedback from our customers - for example "We love coming to this library's Toddler Time!" But what do we do with all this data?

Even if you don't think of yourself as a numbers or statistics type of person, computational thinking will become an increasingly important skill in the future.  Computational thinking is the ability to take data and be able to draw conclusions from them and to make sense of vast amounts of information.  For example, looking at programming statistics might lead you to reconsider the types of programs offered, how they're promoted, or whether or not the same program might work better at a different time or on a different day of the week.

Below is a short video from Sebastian Wernicke, demonstrating how one might take recorded data, draw conclusions from them, and create a possible framework for future success.
At this stop on the Brain Train, we'll be creating an Infographic - a visual representation of data or information.

Here is an Example.


This is an individual activity.

  1. Pick statistics to track from the Combined System Report for 2013-2014 or any of the archived reports (or a combination).  You can do it for your branch or the system.  For example, you could compare your branch computer use in minutes to circulation.  Or compare the number of adult, children's and teen programs.
  2. Using infogr.am, create an infographic using your chosen statistics.  Note: you do need to register.
  3. When you are done, click Share at the top of your graphic, then "View on the Web."  Copy that link into the form.
Note: If you experience problems in Internet Explorer, use the Chrome browser.

When you have submitted the form at this station, you will receive the your medal and get 1 hour of training.   You have until November 30 to complete this exercise.

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