Creating Real Time Data Visualizations

Over the last two years I’ve made a point to experiment with free internet resources with the intent of incorporating some of the more polished examples into my classroom.

I’ve fallen in love with how well Google has managed to integrate its internet application suite together and how this integration allows for ways to interact with my science classes that were heretofore impossible.

One specific application of this has produced more “Oh Wow!”, and literal “A-Ha!” moments than any other.  I don’t have or know a good buzz word for what it is that I’m doing and the explanation is going to sound overly complicated. But in application it’s actually fairly easy.

So here I go with the explanation…

I create Google Forms and then embed them on my classroom website. The forms themselves are being used to capture data from the various experiments that we conduct.  When the students submit the forms with their data the form saves that data inside a Google Sheet. With the Google Sheet I’m able to crunch the numbers however necessary and from that generate a graph or chart. I have the chart displayed on my overhead digital projector. The result being that as a student inputs data they receive real time feedback of what effect that data has on the cumulative total

This might be easier to visualize with an example.

Below I’ve embedded a simple Google Form. The responses are stored in a Google Sheet. That sheet is creating a histogram. That histogram is then embedded underneath the form. The major difference with this example is that the image is not updating in real time (but hopefully the idea is there).


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