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Using Google Ngram viewer to demonstrate trends over time

Google have a little known tool called Ngram Viewer.  Ngram Viewer searches words in Google Books and correlates their use over time.

Have a look at how to use this tool


Video Highlights

0:00:09 How Ngram view works

0:00:27 An example of how you can use Ngram viewer to correlate terms such as global warming

0:01:01 How to correlate words to see if they are associated

0:01:58 How to extend your students thinking with Ngram viewer

This video is part of an hour long training on how to deal with data and Google Searches. You can access the entire video plus our entire collection of training videos in the Unlimited Support Program.

Transcript: Dealing with Data – Ngram

Download PDF Transcript

There’s another link here in the document that is for Ngram, which is Google Books. Now this is searching not web traffic but the books, what’s been written about inside books. So let’s just take those same search terms, so let’s type in global warming and the good thing about this is because it’s in a book, I can search for between 1800 and 2000 and so what I can do here is you’ll notice on this graph that there’s nothing written about global warming until about let’s say 1978.

At around about 1985 we get this incredible jump in stuff being written about in terms of global warming. So it’s a really interesting way to look at the history of a word. Now if I wanted to chart global warming versus climate change, I just need to put a coma between the two words and we’ll be able to look at both of those together, it will say that global warming and climate change roughly follow each other as a correlation, but climate change has incredibly continued on the projectile more than global warming.

Have you seen this awesome tool? Ngram lets you study word usage over time #gafe #aussieED #edchatNZ Click To Tweet

Now for those of us that are teaching high school, you might want to investigate the reason why the search term or the term global warming has started to plateau but the term climate change has continued to increase in popularity. So why is it that we’re now starting to change our language from global warming to climate change? So there are so many different applications that you could use this for in a classroom.

So I encourage you to get in there, have a play, get your students correlating results, searching for things, looking at trends but both online trends and written trends in books and then start to ask the question why okay? In the session this morning we talked about question everything and so one of the great things that we can do is question why and this starts to give us the ability to better do it. Now obviously this is looking back into the past, we can’t a get a trend correlation on that. So Ngram Viewer, have a play with it, awesome tool.

This video is part of an hour long training on how to deal with data and Google Searches. You can access the entire video plus our entire collection of training videos in the Unlimited Support Program.

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