Thursday, February 19, 2015

Refreshing Our Statistics Knowledge

Last week in Math 371 we took some time to cover basic concepts regarding statistics. Dr. Vestal shed some light on a disturbing issue regarding some teachers in our area. She mentioned the week previous that teachers struggle to retain main statistics concepts, which leads to struggling to teach stats in a high school. It is easy to see how future teachers such as myself could forget such material. We are only required to take two stats classes as a math Ed major, both of which are usually taken as a freshman and sophomore. For that reason, she assigned our class to take some concepts from the “For Dummies” series, which involved our TI-nspire, to teach to the class in teams of two. We are still learning to effectively use the nspires but are becoming easier and easier to use as we use them more. It has been a couple years since I have had to work with any statistics based concepts so it was a good refresher for when I have to take the second level of Stats. I worked with Jessica and we were tasked to create a dot plot on our calculators and then convert it to a histogram. As this was only a brief presentation of the more simple concepts, I cannot imagine that this is the last we see of stats in this class.

I am going to take a step away from traditional learning to an idea that could potentially change the way we learn in the future. One of our assignments was to read out of our ebook, Educational Technology for Teachers. In the reading, it discussed different forms of technology to use as methods to assist teaching. One of them was augmented reality. If you do not know what this is, augmented reality or virtual reality is a way to visualize a real world scenario using goggles. I have been intrigued with this idea since I hear about oculus rift, one of the first, truly revolutionary ways to see into a different world. I was excited to see this in the reading because it has enormous potential to help teachers teach, and excite students to learn. As it may not have potential applications for mathematical use, who knows what the future could hold. It could have the potential for you to visualize a xyz-plane in front of you, which could help students who struggle in Calculus III. I am personally still a firm believer in not incorporation to much technology into a math classroom, but I am excited to see what the future has in store for us.