You may not be familiar with Google Fusion tables, but it is a free (and easy) tool that quickly visualizes data.

In a nutshell you have a spreadsheet with a set of data and upload it to Google Fusion table and it will magically create visuals of the data for you.

Lesson Plan:

  1. Create a Google Form where each student is responsible to find out some information.  Such as name of a country, link to image of the flag, capital, latitude and longitude of the capital, and other key information.
  2. Once each student fills out the information you can download the data as a CSV file or connect it to a Google Spreadsheet.
  3. In Google Drive you click on create and choose to connect more apps if you do not already have Fusion Tables connected.

    Add Fusion Tables to your Google Drive Apps.
  4. Choose create a Fusion Table
  5. Upload the CSV file or connect to your Google Spreadsheet
  6. Google Fusion Tables will automatically create a Google Map with a dot for each of the countries capitals and when you click on the dots in the map it will display the information the student submitted.

Fusion tables automatically creates little index cards of your data, which is much nicer to view than a spreadsheet of the data.  Sharing this with the students gives them study cards that were crowd sourced by the class.

Try this: Connect Google Fusion Tables to your Google Drive.  Create a new fusion table and choose Google Spreadsheet.  Import any spreadsheet you have collected student information from and see how Fusion Tables will visualize the data.  Perhaps the visuals are good for sharing with students or maybe it will just help you to identify how you can target your instruction.

If a URL is entered, the URL is automatically created into a live link and if it is a URL to a picture file, the Fusion Table automatically resizes the image and shows the image.

Click Here to see a sample fusion table I created from a public data source.  Notice that it automatically created index cards of the data and a Google Map.

Click Here to see a sample gradebook that contains image links in the data.