How has the world changed?

During this week, our year 8 students have been immersed in one single topic that is basically “Why is the world worth saving”. They were shown some excerpts from the video “The day the earth stood still” and then told that aliens were looking at the Earth and expect that, after a week’s notice,  humans will be able to argue on behalf of their world.

They have been looking at all sorts of things, things that they are passionate about. Many are looking at how we have developed in the areas of technology, medicine. There arguements have been that on the wholoe we keep learning and trying to improve things. It is enlightning to see how optimistic they are although they can also see the results of pollution, environmental changes, climate changes etc. Yesterday they were sorting out the big statements and questions and today they were starting to do the research to support there arguments. I was looking around and came across GapMinder.

In the video below, Hans Rosling  demonstrates GapMinder, a tool that can even make statistics look beautiful.  The content for this brief video is the change in the life expectancy & income throughout the world in the last two centuries. You can have a look for yourself by going to the the tool here.

I always love the way we can “use” statistics to support our arguments and GapMinder looks like an interesting tool. The trends described through the tool here are certainly useful to provoke thought.

Hans Rosling has also presented TED talks. Have a look at the TED talk where Hans Rosling, with insightful data backed by his spectacular charts, shows how some pre-conceived notions and grand generalizations (about the Third World countries, in this case) can be sharply in contrast with the facts.

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