Visualizing with Technology

Chapter 9

Paint and draw programs allow us to electronically visualize and express our ideas.

Sketchcast is an easy to use tool that makes your drawing into a movie.

In Science, computers are used to visualize ideas otherwise unobservable.

  • Chemist use visualization tools to image molecules that are too small to be seen.
  • Chemistry students can use programs such as Spartan, eChem, and the Molecular Workbench to learn molecular chemistry through simulation, interaction, building, and manipulation.

Many Mathematical concepts can be visualized using technology.

Visualization helps students turn abstract mathematical ideas into concrete understanding.


  • Programs such as Mathematica, Matlab, and Excel visually represent mathematical relationships so students can see effects of manipulations for any given problem.
  • Data analysis and interpreting statistics which are important in math and other subjects, can be visually analyzed by students using programs such as TinkerPlots and Fathom Dynamic Statistics.
  • Portable graphing calculators allow students to easily go from symbolic to graphical to numeric representations of a given concept.
  • Geometry can be better understood by constructing and manipulating geometric figures in programs like Geometer Sketchpad.
TinkerPlots Demo

Studying the earth through broad pictures and geographical problem solving.


  • Maps and geographical data can be found on many websites.
  • GIS allows students to access geographical data bases, construct maps, create charts, and formulate research.
  • Google Earth is a 3D interface of the planet that combines satellite imagery and maps.

Digital Media

Learning through video

  • In digital storytelling, students creatively think of story, create a physical storyboard, shoot their video with a camera, then edit it using computer software. Through this, students learn about the elements of a story, movie production, and working collaboratively.
  • A valuable use of video is video modeling, demonstrating a specific performance for students in a video.
  • The learner can then later reflect on their own performance through the use of video feedback by taping and watching their own performance.
Digital Storytelling in the Elementary Classroom