We turned up at the announced event through the facebook events page , had no clue who the organizers were and the place we were going to . The page just mentioned about telling stories with data. Staying with the open data community i had a clue of what was coming , but did not have a clear agenda or plan of action for next few hours we were going to stay at the meetup.One of the datasets i have been hearing about a lot past few months is from the data.gov.in website , since my rendevous with the Open Data from govt has been limited to the public data available through chalobest.in project , this project still has not been realized in NCR area. Anyway the place was a buzz with people of all age groups mostly students from journalism and activists too . we all sat in small groups either talking about an idea or data set we would be working on . Since i was interested in the data sets from Govt , we picked the infant mortality rate it was in CSV format , the big picture was to create a Heatmap out of the data available , the first thing we noticed was there were not lat longs for the states , so two members from team @arcolife and Myself sat down with the site Geonames.org to collect the same , in the meantime @bhanuvrat , @kanteshraj were writing scripts to the data transformed in the format required . Ramniq was our anchor man who was putting everything together , he started of with the Heatmap code , initially he was dablling with Openlayers later we switched to Leaflet which was much easier to code in . Overall at the end of it we produced the following heat map .
which was sort of hardcoded and static one with the limitations of time we could produce here is the code for the Heatmap .
The experience has been good for everyone since we we were getting together after longtime and produced something in the end. Scope for improvements we can cover more years with a time line kind of interface and really see it visually which is kind of nice than just some dry numbers on a spread sheet . We dispersed with lots of sweet memories and hope to have more such events in future.
Tools and Software used
Education and learning are terms used synonymously , i agree with Seymour Papert and the people who have been influenced over decades by his writings.
last few years i have been seeing a lots of buzz around the word MOOC , just few years before the term like Elearning had a similar effect on us . Initially all the entrepreneurial kinds tried to capitalize this rush using technologies in last two decade like Flash etc and everyone’s focus was on the content and selling this content in the digital formats in India too there has been efforts , they were basically digitizing all the textbooks and were calling it Elearning.
then came the craze of devices like OLPC in 2006 , i learned about it around 2007 , The idea was started will all good intentions but it had its own flaws in the model and approach , you can learn about the current status of the project here . The two contributions i see from this projects are Netbooks , Tablets frenzy and Sugar Environment , which again are ideas which are way ahead of time , when people are still stuck on there Elearning mentality . all of a sudden the combo of hardware and software for a digitized classroom became so important as though the world is going to end tomorrow. Elearning companies popped up some of them made it through this gold rush too.
at this point i would like to differentiate between Education and Learning , The so called form has changed from television to computers and now to internet . all that has been happening is so far in education is sort of push in the education terms .
Enter MOOC’s Khan Academy , Coursera , Udacity , Edx , p2p , Udemy are some good examples of these here again a wild rush to capitalize and transform the education sector into an open play ground . Traditional universities have all joined in the race too .i feel because of over growing pressure to increase the base and reduce the capital expenditure they feel , this is it the holy grail to fix education .
There are two of MOOC’s happening here one is a unstructured and the other is structured around to fit the traditional education , the content is good , exams and tests are all conducted on a scheduled way in the structured form of delivery .
i did hacking around last year to make a clone of called Fossacademy, now i see course-builder is based out of it too , i have looked p2p code base , the good thing them is they have a way to give students exercies and measure there learning while they are enrolled to the courses , but the approach i like the most so far has been the Social contructivism and a good example of it find the Free and Open source culture way and project like nand2tetris .
So what is happening to Education well its happening and places of learning have started to pop up too in the name of New Age schools , since we need to re look at the way our next generations are going to learn from things around them .