## Thursday, December 2, 2010

### Interactive Graphing Tool for Teachers and Students

Last night I was looking for an interactive graphing tool to make a scatter plot.  In my search, I came across this one from NCES Kids' Zone.  I liked it better than most of the others I've used in the past.  The tool allows you to create various types of graphs.  You can make bar graphs, pie graphs, area graphs, line graphs, and scatter plots.  I only tried the scatter plot, but was pleased with what I was able to do.  Mainly, I needed to graph several different sets of data on the same graph and this tool allowed me to do it.

Pros of this interactive graph:
• allows you to graph different types of graphs (bar, pie, area, line, and scatter plots)
• allows you to adjust the # of grid lines on the graph
• allows you to graph up to 6 sets of data on one graph
• allows you to color code each set of data
• allows you to plot up to 50 data items in each set of data
• allows you to vary the type of points on the graph (circle, square, rhombus, triangle, plus, or no shape)
• allows you to set min and max values for x- and y-axes
• allows you to Title Graph
• allows you to include a legend for the graph
• allows you to save the graph for editing at a later time
• easy to use
Cons of this interactive graph:
• does not allow you to scale the graph (I had to adjust my max values for the x- and y-axes in order to get it to scale the way I wanted it to.)
• does not allow you to graph equations  (I was only able to graph points, not lines.  I would like to be able to graph just equations, or to graph equations over data sets to see if they are linear.)
Over all, this is the best graph I've found for making basic graphs and for graphing points if you don't need to graph an equation.  It is great for teachers and students.  Teachers can make graphs for use with class and  put them into documents or other media.  Students can create graphs to put into documents, media, or email to teacher.

Here is the Fraction Families Graph I created using the NCES Kids' Zone Interactive Graphing Tool: