Demographic Charts using Infonation and Microsoft Excel
For this project students queried Infonation and charted their results into an Excel graph. Typically a student might question what is different about India, Greece, and Argentina. Then the student might ask about temperature, exports, literacy rates, age demographics or other factors to look for correlations. One must caution the students to be cautious to reach conclusions when data correlate. Instructors also have the opportunity to discuss testing material for statistical significance. The interactivity with the information usually raises questions that can then be addressed by a further investigation of sources.
Students generally believe adult illiteracy rates are tied to population growth. When students chart the information, they begin to ask new questions and frame new hypotheses.
A chart like the one above also illustrates the problem of scale in displaying information. Students learn how to present their findings most effectively.