Sunday, June 16, 2013

Monday, June 17. 2013

Today's schedule is A-AG-B-C-D

B Block Social Studies 11 - Today we are going to examine the impacts of developing countries relying upon one monoculture crop as a major source of export income. We'll be in the library today to gather data on an export crop where you are going to create your own infographic on one of the following resources/topics: Bananas, Coffee, Cocoa, Cotton or Tobacco. The end product will be hard copy poster that shows the devastating effects of a developing country relying on one monoculture agricultural crop for the majority of its income. The goal of this assignment is to understand the connections between the social problems (gender, health, children, etc.) in HIPC's with economic development.

Take is its largest export crop and the staple of its export economy (some estimate that 60% of its economy is based on coffee exports). 15 million of its 75 million people in Ethiopia depend on the coffee industry for work. The problem is that on the UNDP Human Development Index Ethiopia ranked 170th out of 177 countries and the quality of life for those in the coffee industry is low. If the price of coffee goes down, then so does the amount of money that Ethiopia can generate. This is one example so try to make a connection with your industry and a country that depends on it.

Once you've chosen your topic I will provide you with an information sheet of data on your topic. It is your responsibility to search out more data on your topic (specifically population and the human development index rating for a country where that crop is relied upon). So today look for information about a developing country and their reliance upon a "Legitimate" agricultural crop (no Colombia and Coca nor Afghanistan and Opiates). You can find information at:
CIA World Factbook
Show at World (click on planet and crop resources)
CIDA Developing World Map

Infographics are a great way to graphically depict statistical data so what are they? John Emerson wrote a great little document called Visualizing Information for Advocacy An Introduction to Information Design ( and his explanation of Infographics/Information Design is that…

Information design uses pictures, symbols, colors, and words to communicate ideas, illustrate information or express relationships visually. Effective design is not just a matter of making text pretty or entertaining, but of shaping understanding and clarifying meaning. Information design adds seeing to reading to make complex data easier to understand and to use...Some familiar forms include charts, graphs, maps, diagrams or timelines. These can be big or small, simple or complex, published in print or electronic media. Information design can help you present your information in a clear and compelling way, persuasively convey facts or ideas or discover something new in your data.
So where can you find examples of Infographics?

  1. GOOD is the integrated media platform for people who want to live well and do good. GOOD is a company and community for the people, businesses, and NGOs moving the world forward. GOOD’s mission is to provide content, experiences, and utilities to serve this community.
  2. Information Is Beautiful is the media platform for David McCandless an independent data journalist and information designer. McCandless’ passion is visualizing information – facts, data, ideas, subjects, issues, statistics, questions – all with the minimum of words.
  3. New Internationalist magazine formed the basis of the data we used in today’s class. You can find the issues here: Coffee; Chocolate; Bananas; Tobacco; Cotton
Tools to help you create infographics can be found at:

Pie Color This delightfully easy tool simply asks how many slices you want the pie to have and then begins work. Once you select the number of pieces, the next screen asks for the values, provides options to set the colors of the pieces and the background, as well as the size of the pie graph.
Star Planet This site includes three options--Stat Planet, Graph Maker, and Map Maker. Star Planet has a wide range of already developed maps and graphs while Graph Maker and Map Maker have users create Flash-based maps and graphs with data sets provided from their own research or from various reputable sources available at the web site.
Creately is an easy-to-use drop and drag interface for creating a wide range of charts, graphics, and info pictures. The free version allows you to work on a single diagram at a time. Registration is required for saving diagrams as well as exporting as an image, PDF, Creatly file, or emailing

Other sites include Wordle, Tagxedo, and Many Eyes

C Block Social Studies 10 - Today we are back in the library for your second to last last day for research on your family history assignment. Remember, your task is to research your family history, which includes learning how to conduct academic research, making critical evaluations regarding sources, and managing information. Please remember that I want you to focus on the context of history- did your ancestor fight in the war of 1812? What was life like for farmers during early settlement of the west? Why do you have American relatives? Use the primary documents and stories you find to uncover what daily life might have been like for your relatives.
Government of Canada Geneaology Site
American National Archives
Pier 21 Immigration Museum Research Canada
Ellis Island - U.S. Immigration
Climbing Your Family Tree
Family Search
BC Department of Vital Statistics
Your assignment is due Wednesday - That's two days from now.

D Block Criminology 12 - OK so this is it. These are the last two days to get your seminar topic prepared and ready to go for Wednesday this week. Now let's talk about stress. Some of you are not too fond of public speaking and find it an unpleasant experience. It doesn't have to be. You have five minutes (or more if you need it) to present information on a criminology topic to the class. The information is about something you are interested in and why you are interested in it. Some of you have indicated that you're panicking about speaking in front of the class which is both natural and actually kind of funny (given that you all have done this already just not in a structured format). So look through the following websites to help you plan for your talk:

CAASAA Public Speaking Skills
How to Conquer Public Speaking Fear
Toastmasters Tips & Techniques
Overcoming the Fear of Speaking to Groups
Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking
The Art of Speechmaking

We start Wednesday with our presentations for the remainder of the week. If you are finished then you may either update your blog work (look at last Monday's entry) or finish your questions from Friday (see the entry below). Good luck.

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