Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

TinkerPlots Dynamic Data Exploration

TinkerPlots Dynamic Data Exploration

Spring 2005 Software
Ages: 9 - 15 yrs.
Price: $89.95
Platform: windows 98 or xp mac 10.1
I have spent an inordinate amount of time working with this software during the past two weeks, yet still feel I have barely scratched the surface. It is as massive as it is impressive.

At my last teachers’ meeting, I asked a curriculum specialist to explain the value of teaching middle school students a spreadsheet/graphing program. I was told students need to learn that words and numbers can have impact. While it is true that other graphing programs can do that, TinkerPlots takes this concept to the next level by graphically illustrating the significance of the components of the data collected. With that insight, children and adults alike can then develop a stronger understanding of what their numbers mean.

TinkerPlots is graphically appealing. It can animate changes in the icons plotted on its graphs. But the icons used for the graphs don’t just change. They morph from one icon type to another, e.g. from dots to bars. The extremely friendly and intuitive interface allows the user to play with the data plotted in an infinte variety of formats. We are limited only by our imaginations. That’s a fairly impressive claim to make about a graphing program.

Sample data sets included on the CD cover a wide variety of topics and include questions that lead to a greater depth of understanding of the data being presented. These sample graphs are easily and creatively adjusted to facilitate understanding and to generate new ideas for original research.

Carolyn Gershovich   ©2005 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:
Key Curriculum Press
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