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On getting more and better data into the classroom. (English)
Technol. Innov. Stat. Educ. 1, No. 1, 10 p., electronic only (2007).
Summary: The authors’ work to develop capabilities for getting data into the data analysis software Fathom$^{\text{TM}}$ is described. Heuristics of detecting data on a Web page allow drag and drop of a URL into a document. A collaboration with the Minnesota Population Center makes possible sampling from census microdata from 1850, through 2000. With direct support for Vernier sensors, students can build a model during the process of realtime data collection. Finally, a survey capability makes it easy for teachers and students to create simple data entry forms hosted on a web site such that the collated data is instantly downloadable for data analysis in Fathom. By taking some of the drudgery out of gathering data, these capabilities carry implications for teaching and curriculum development; namely that students should have experience throughout their learning with data that they individually have chosen to explore. It is argued that the skills they gain by engaging in exploratory data analysis with self-chosen and self-generated data are critically important in our data-driven society and not yet adequately supported in K-14 learning.
Classification: R20 K40
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