Using different media
One of the most motivating aspects of studying statistics is the potential for students to investigate relevant, contextual and contemporary issues.
Teachers can access these through electronic media. Some possible approaches are:
using world statistics to explore social issues
The Gapminder resources provide a powerful dynamic graphing tool to investigate important world trends. You could find out why the washing machine is 'magic'!
using accessible activities that relate to current events
Maths and stats by email is a free e-newsletter for students, teachers and anyone with an interest in mathematics. Each issue contains a hands-on mathematics activity. Maths by Email is produced by CSIRO. You could find out if swimmers have longer bodies than runners.
using contexts that are relevant to students
CensusAtSchool is a nation-wide annual project that collects real data from students. You can register your class to take part in the data collection and/or access activities. Find out what proportion of Australian students are left-handed or how much time they spend on the Internet.
critically examining the use of statistics in the news media
Numeracy in the News is a website with 313 newspaper articles from The Mercury in Hobart. Most articles have linked questions for students and discussions for teachers. Categories include sampling, data representation, data reduction and inference.
Digital media can demonstrate the power of statistics in persuasive demonstrations that often build cross-curriculum links.
Current electronic resources
E-newsletters can provide information and activities that are current and relevant.
Statistics in the news media
The need for critical statistical thinking in social decision-making situations is evident in the news media every day.
Students enjoy participating in data collection and undertaking investigations that are relevant to their lives and interests.