Saturday, 28 March 2015

Use Google 'My Maps' to visualise Student Data

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A recent staff room conversation had us questioning why it seemed that our persistent late students seemed to live so close to school. The area around our school is quite diverse and we thought it would be interesting to try and identify student trends based on where they live. It turns out that this is surprisingly easy to do, and within 5 minutes we had mapped 1000 students and categorised by a variety of data from conduct points to lateness. I'll explain the 3 steps it took to achieve this:

1) Export student data from your MIS

I designed a report in SIMS (our student information system) that outputted student details. You could export any data that you want for each student, but you need to include their Postcode, or an address that can be read by Google Maps.

2) Add that data as a Google Sheet to your Google Drive

I simply copied the output to a Google Sheet. You could also upload the data directly to My Maps, but having the sheet in Drive allows you to edit data and see it change on your map automatically.

3) Use the data on a new 'My Map'

Go to or search for 'My Maps' and click 'Create a new map'. If you've uploaded your data to Google Drive, after you've clicked 'Import' simply choose the file in your Drive. Voila! Your students will now be placed on your map and you can categorise the data however you would like!

Click the little paint roller icon to customise appearance by range/category. You can find out more from the My Maps Help Centre here.

Whilst this won't be for everyone, we've found it might be a useful way to help spot trends and patterns with your students.
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