In a great example of the flattening 21st century world I stumbled across a fantastic graphing resource produced by the U.S Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics on Tom Barret’s (a British teacher) blog. Create-a-Graph is a simple to use web-based graphing program. Users can choose from bar, area, line, pie, and XY graphs. After plugging in data and label information Create-a-Graph produces a graph that can be customized, printed out, or downloaded. If a student realizes he made a mistake, its easy to return to a previous tab and adjust the data. The graph will be instantly updated.
From the same site, there are links to other NCES projects. Make sure you check out Chances and the collection of resources in the Grab Bag. Next week we’ll be using Create-a-Graph to generate motion graphs before using Numbers or Excel. Its a much easier place to start and my students won’t get lost in the software nuances of these two programs. I also love the fact this is web based. That way students can easily create fantastic graphs regardless of the software they have on their home or school computers.