This week my daughter and I have been looking at what comes across in the Show of Hands app. This app asks users for basic information, then collects answers to interesting yes/no questions each day. Users can look at the collected answers in fun, easy-to-read graphics. Some of the questions are quite silly, but it is still fun to see how people all over the United States answer and how the answers are distributed.
Why are the states that answer mostly “no” stuck together? What’s going on in the other states that are not part of the bunched-up states? Could it be a function of the weather and the time of the year the question was asked?
Now look at how age, gender, and income change the answer. What assumptions could we make from looking at these?
The last graphic can bring up some interesting arguments. Here it goes.
While there isn’t much difference between people of different political leanings in this data set, you can imagine some questions have very marked differences. (“Bill Clinton, fan or not a fan?” or “Do you believe women earn less than men because of discrimination or because of their career choices?”)
It is an interesting way to start a class discussion if you find a question relevant to your content area. Or even if you don’t. Just get your students thinking about what is happening in the world and what people are thinking about.
I don’t think I’d install this app on student devices, but I’m enjoying having it on my phone. And if you want to access it from a laptop, they do have a website.