March Madness for the classroom

March Madness is upon us and if your school is anything like mine was, brackets are flying around the halls.  It didn’t seem to matter whether you were a student, a teacher or an administrator, everyone participated in one way or another. 

So in the words of Emeril, let’s kick it up a notch this year!

First of all, you have to build prior knowledge.  unitedstreaming has a slew of videos about basketball.  Kick off the lesson with a little multi-media.  Maybe do a little "Then & Now" comparison.  Then its time to create your brackets.

Writing utensils are just so 2006.  Have your students create brackets the Web 2.0 way, using PicksPal’s brack creator.  You don’t need to register to create your bracket, only to save it online.  So they can create their brackets on the screen and then print out a copy for themselves. 

Of course, in order to keep track of people’s progress, you may want to enter the data into a spreadsheet.  I’d recommend you go Google, and use Google Docs & Spreadsheets.   That way the entire class can enter their data into one spreadsheet at the same time!  For the record, students can register for a Google Account without signing up for GMail.  Or I believe through Google Education, you can pre-register them.

Ok, so we’ve got our brackets, we’ve got our data, now what are we going to do with it?  I say it’s time to make use of another Web 2.0 favorite, Swivel.  This site allows you to import in data sets from spreadsheets and create graphs from it.  It’s very dynamic and will allow you to filter data or create related graphs with ease.

You get the idea, the possibilities are endless!  Of course, if you’re looking for lesson plans, there are plenty available.  Here’s just a few to get you started. 

Have fun and good luck!

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One Comment;

  1. Chris said:

    Steve,

    Thanks for the great Swivel mention! Just as a start to anyone’s teaching curriculum, we have some ideas for March Madness data including NCAA basketball 2-point attempts versus turnovers http://www.swivel.com/graphs/show/8372092 and latest odds http://www.swivel.com/graphs/show/8258462 . Of course for odds data it is dependent on willingness/hesitancy to introduce gambling terminology in the classroom. We welcome all teachers to check out Swivel, and if anyone needs any help with our user interface, finding data or uploading data, please feel free to contact me directly at chris@swivel.com

    Thanks!

    Chris Grisanti
    Swiveler
    chris@swivel.com

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