Want to turn global data into fantasy sports-like scores?

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What if the world of geopolitics was as easy and fun to understand as sports?

We’re looking for creative, curious, and committed coders to come up with more scoring ideas for our fantasy sports-like games for learning, where students draft countries or states and score points for news.

Right now, fanschool.org turns data from the New York Times and the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone into scores that are both understandable and encouraging for students: We call them news “Mentions” and news “Tone”.

Our mission is to get young people developing better (or any) daily news interaction habits, in a way that’s more in their sweet spot for learning.

If you’ve ever played fantasy sports, you know this is a much better model for content engagement and event awareness, especially for people who have never held a newspaper. All the data from the news and fantasy sports industries (+ hundreds of classrooms that use us) shows it’s more effective than digital newspapers, video news, email newsletters, or news via social media.

This is an open-ended task, but here are a few ideas on my development list:

1. Use Twitter streams or hashtags from legitimate sources (or aggregate trends) to create a “social media” scoring metric:

jasonmayes.com/projects/twitterApi/#sthash.ieC0izBI.PcHhyiHr.dpbs + github.com/fennb/phirehose for ideas.

Do you know anything about tools like the Reuters News Tracer?

2. Come up with positive and/or negative scoring metrics like “Healthcare” or “Economic Growth” or “Happiness” or “Literacy” using sources like the following:

In other words, can we create scoring metrics for any of these?

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We already use GDELT data for our news tone scoring metric. They just released another version (linked below), which might provide even better data to score dynamically. Here are a few examples of what it can do:

What about scoring metrics for U.S. states from these databases?

3. Tell us something cool we don’t even know about yet…

Contact Eric at eric@fanschool.org if you’re interested in working on this in your free time! More about me here.

What I can guarantee you:
+ your scoring metric(s) will be appreciated by hundreds of paying teachers
+ your scoring metric will be used by hundreds of thousands of young learners
+ my execution around getting your scoring metric into the hands of customers and users and paying you for it

What I can’t guarantee you:
- a ton of my time defining your task for you
- a paid career working on it

Please pass this along to smart people you know too. Thanks!


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Founded by teachers and technologists, we turn students into FANs of learning with fantasy sports-like games for school content + current events.

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