Read & Respond week 16 (part 2) – Pick the winners

December 4, 2018

And here’s the last part of your final read & respond! You’ll be assessing your own work, based on the material you provided me. Based on the following examples, you’ll be voting (via this Google Forms ballot) on the following categories.

NOTE: If your name doesn’t have links, you need to provide them to me!

ALSO NOTE: You’re not expected to read all these links – you’ve already read a lot of your classmates’ work during reviews and commenting – just use them for reference!

Group Blog Honors

Note: You can’t vote for your own group unless otherwise indicated!

The Groups (group-selected posts are linked):

The Categories

  1. Best Post on a Group Blog (can’t vote for your own post, but can vote for a post by your group)
  2. Best Group Blog Headline
  3. Most Improved Group Blog
  4. Best Group Blog Overall
  5. Best Use of Additional Content
  6. Best Social Media Presence

Personal Blog Awards

Note: You can’t vote for yourself!

The Personal Blogs (best posts provided by you)

First Last Post 1 Post 2
Brie Autry Post 1 Post 2
Alex Balog Post 1 Post 2
AJ Barnes Post 1 Post 2
Taylor Brown Post 1 Post 2
Te’a DiNapoli Post 1 Post 2
Katie Forcade Post 1 Post 2
Brooke Hawthorne Post 1 Post 2
Aaron Host Post 1 Post 2
Megan Irwin Post 1 Post 2
Marshall Kesterson Post 1 Post 2
Patrick Kotnik Post 1 Post 2
Xavier Leroy Post 1 Post 2
Alexis Piatkowski Post 1 Post 2
Kenna Richards Post 1 Post 2
Christine Robinson Post 1 Post 2
Olivia VanHorn Post 1 Post 2
Dan Walsh Post 1 Post 2
Erica Young Post 1 Post 2

The Categories

  1. Best Post on a Personal Blog
  2. Best Personal Blog Headline
  3. Most Improved Personal Blog
  4. Best Personal Blog Overall


Nominate another blogger for best uses of audiovisual, non-audiovisual, and social media content.

Nominate another blogger for a “Most/Best ____” category (e.g., Best use of GIFs, Most Likely to Proofread Everyone’s Work)

Nominate yourself for something at which you think you excel (e.g., Best Interviewer of Homeless Persons) or perhaps are notorious for (e.g., Most Likely to Get Caught Texting)

The usual deadline applies, but you don’t have to respond as a comment. Instead, complete the ballot on Google Forms by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4.

How to create a thematic (data) map

December 3, 2018

Here’s a guide to creating your own heat map, adapted from this tutorial.

Getting the data into a Fusion Table

  1. Sign in to Google Drive
  2. Download this dataset (a .csv list of insects)
  3. In Drive, go to New > More > Google Fusion Tables (if you don’t have that option, go to More > +Connect More Apps, type “fusion tables” in the search bar and click the Connect button)
  4. Type “fusion tables” in the search bar and click the Connect button
  5. In the window, browse to find the .csv you downloaded to your computer and click Next. Review how the data looks and click Next
  6. Give it a name (“Butterflies”) and click Finish
  7. Check out your table of data and images

Map the data

  1. Click the “map of latitude” tab at the top of your table
  2. Click the dots in the map to view individual entries’ data
  3. The Google tutorial also provides directions for making those pop-up windows more readable. Scroll down to “customize the info window template” and try it out!

Make a heat map

  1. Download the “population” and “states.kml” files I’ve sent you
  2. Create a new fusion table with the “population” file (click Next and Finish)
  3. At the top of the spreadsheet this creates, there’s a map tab. Click this, and Fusion Tables will geocode the locations (states) you’ve provided as points
  4. In a NEW window (important), go through same steps to create a second Fusion Table with “states.kml”
  5. Go back into the “population” Fusion Table and click File > Merge
    • Select “states”
    • In the window, for “This table” select “Region” and for “states” select “Name” – click Next
    • Uncheck “description” and “id” and click Merge
  6. To change from dots to shapes, click “change feature styles” in the left menu and select Polygons > Fill color
  7. Select “Gradient” and in that window, select “show a gradient” for the “population” column”
  8. Click “use this range” and click the plus buttons so there are five categories
  9. You SHOULD get a map with states shaded in colors that are darker with higher population levels
  10. To adjust those categories, go back into “change feature styles” and switch to the Buckets tab, click the “Divide into ____ buckets” button, change the number to 5, and adjust the categories (you’ll need to change the colors for this – I like to use to find these)
  11. Try searching for other state data and mapping it (use the filetype:.csv to help out)

Read & Respond week 16 (part I) – Best of US

December 2, 2018

This one’s a two-parter, but don’t worry – both parts are easy!

For our final week, we’ll be assessing our own work. For this first part, you’ll need to provide me that work! First, give yourself a quick refresher of your best stuff (personal and group) this semester. Take note of the following:


  • Best two posts
  • Best headline
  • Best added content (maps, podcasts, etc)


  • Best three posts
  • Best headline
  • Best added content (maps, podcasts, etc)

Submit your nominations using this Google Form ballot. We’ll finalize things and begin voting in Monday’s class. I realize this one came up pretty late, so do the best you can to complete it before class (as I said, it won’t take long). If you REALLY can’t swing it, you can finish up in class.