Let's look at an example - the treemap - this is the periodic table entry for the treemap,
Prior to doing this piece, I had never heard of a treemap, so I did a little research - here's a great site that presents news aggregated together as a treemap.
I encourage you to explore this site - it's pretty cool. The different colors represent different types of news (World, US, Sports, Entertainment, etc); different shades of color indicate the age of the news (brighter shades are less than 10 minutes old, while increasingly darker shades are older); and finally, the size of each rectangle is related to the number of news stories found for each topic. It's comforting to see that there's a little more coverage of Congress than of Anna Nicole or Bald Britney.
Now let's look at how my data and your data might become treemaps. Let's imagine that we're asked to discuss the following table of data,
short tutorial showing how to go from the table to the following treemap and there's an evaluation version of their software that you can download and test drive.
There's nothing wrong with tables, but take a look at your data and at some of these techniques - could your students (could you) benefit from a fresh new view? It's worth a shot!
In future postings, we'll revisit the periodic table from time to time and examine some of the other methods in greater detail.