Thursday, 13 December 2012

Welcome to I-USE

Welcome to this new (as I write this) blog.
The project officially started on the 1st of October 2012

It will describe the work that is done during the duration of the I-USE project, which has been funded for three years from 2012. The project has some ambitious targets and outcomes, which we will share with you over the next three years as we work towards achieving them.
The context is a simple, but important one.

It's about making sense of a world of data... and helping students to explore this world of data...

Statistical literacy is becoming increasingly important. This includes an element of information literacy, but also digital literacy.

Students (and teachers) are now living in a society that demands evidence-based arguments and decisions. While the world is changing rapidly with respect to the prevalence and use of statistics, the curriculum in schools and the approaches teachers adopt tend to be slow to respond to such changes. Therefore creating meaningful, innovative teacher training plays a crucial role in developing statistical thought processes. Using statistics provides simple yet instant information on the matter it centres on.

Teachers do not always consider new forms of visualising statistical information as part of curriculum courses as they are not explicitly mentioned. As a result, in some secondary schools, many students don’t have an opportunity to learn to work with statistics and computer-based visualisations. 
Therefore, despite the fact that statistics offers powerful tools for information analysis and interpretation, many students are unable to extract meaning from the data and information they are presented with. 

The dilemma is that as more data becomes readily available and the tools for visualising and analysing the data become more sophisticated, the ability to produce useful information from the analyses is outpacing the capacity to use the knowledge productively.

Modern computer-based visualisations create a vivid presentation of collected and organized data through the use of figures, charts, living and interactive diagrams and graphs, which helps lead to more critical analyses of information.
The I-USE project will result in the development of teacher training courses and materials which will enable the teaching of statistics in a range of subjects.

As a geographer, I'm looking forward to working with project partners from UK, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Greece.

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