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"Imagination is more
important than
-Albert Einstein-

Niels Bohr

"Your theory is crazy,
but not it's not crazy
enough to be true."
-Niels Bohr-


"Ignorance more
frequently begets
confidence than does knowledge: it it those
who know little, and
not those who know
much, who are positively
assert that that this or
that problem will never
be solved by science."
-Charles Darwin-

Create a Graph Review


The Web 2.0 application I chose to review is Create a Graph. Its URL is http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/.


            As the name of the app implies, the main purpose of the application is to create graphs. It provides a step-by-step approach to help students create their own graphs by customizing the different tabs to their needs. The “design” tab allows users to select the type of graph that the students wish to create. There are five types of graphs to choose from: bar, pie, area, line, and XY.  Once the type is chosen, there are options for further customization, including color, grid lines, appearance and legend position.

     Under the “data” tab users enter their data. It is in this tab that users also label the axis and the graph itself. Furthermore the maximum and minimum values can also be adjusted. Under “labels” tab students can further label data such as allowing the graph to show the numerical value of each point, bar or section. Further customizations allow for entering of suffixes such as units and modification of fonts.


            Under the “preview” tab, students can generate a preview of what their graph looks like. In this view, one can see if they forgot to enter data or mislabeled an axis. They then can click back to the data or labels tab and correct their mistakes. Finally under the “ print/save” tab students are given the option to print, save, or email their graphs.


            This app seems geared to middle school students or older. Someone who is experienced with both graphing and computers can easily use the app. There are choices and vocabulary involved in the app that I doubt that elementary school students could handle. Overall the application isn’t difficult to use and there is also wizard to the left, which provides help, shows examples, and explains each component within a given tab thoroughly.


            The application seems to work on both windows and mac since it is an online application. Thus far the web 2.0 app works on Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. I am unable to verify if it works on Internet Explorer since I do not use said browser. The website utilizes Macromedia Flash Player. The website also provides a link to download a free copy of Macromedia Flash Player to “provide a more rich experience.”


            There are many strengths of this web 2.0 app. For one it provides a quick way to graph and organize information. Furthermore each graph can be unique to represent the flair of each student’s personalities. In addition the wizard to the left of the app really helps in explaining each step to reduce confusion and make the graphing tool more user friendly. It is also a plus that we can save, print and email our graphs. There is one glaring weakness in the application. It does not allow for graphs to be embedded. This can be problematic especially if you wanted to embed the graph as a part of a website or a paper.


            As a future Biology teacher, I find this application very useful. In biology, there are a lot of experiments done to illustrate principles and theories. Viewing patterns on a graph can reinforce many of these theories. Collecting and organizing large sums of data into graphs via this app saves time than if students were to graph by hand. Furthermore this allows us to focus on biology content rather than being bogged down by graphing logistics. In addition it makes sharing group data with the entire class a snap because each group can email their graphing results to every other group.


            I would also list this app as a resource for writing lab reports. Sometimes lab reports require a particular type of graph. Students could be guided to create their graphs on this web 2.0 app. They then can save it as an image file and include it in their lab report.


            Overall the application is quite easy to use and seems to be compatible with almost every operating system and browser. It provides a helpful guide to allow students to graph their data properly and to share them seamlessly. I would highly recommend this web 2.0 app to all my science colleagues as it saves time and allows us to focus on content rather than re-teaching graphs