Thursday 7 November 2013

Hans Rosling on BBC2

For those readers in the UK (or within the area that can be reached by BBC transmitters), a new programme featuring the guru of statisticians Professor Hans Rosling is shown tonight.

It's called 'Don't Panic: the truth about Population' - here's a snippet on YouTube

And take the Guardian's Population Quiz, with 9 questions set by Hans....

Cesky Krumlov - the next project meeting

Project partners are preparing to meet once again for updates on the project.

There will be planning of the teacher training course and associated materials which will be used at the end of the project.
There are also ongoing efforts to translate the website, and other materials into the languages used by the project partners, which will increase the reach of the materials into a range of educational establishments.

Cesky Krumlov is in the Czech Republic, and parts of it are a World Heritage site...

Sadly, Alan Parkinson will not be able to attend the meeting due to his new teaching commitments, but plans are well advanced for a productive meeting.

Image: courtesy of Flickr user LostBob Photos and shared under Creative Commons license.
Many thanks

Thursday 17 October 2013


I enjoyed reading this Seth Godin piece on averages

Of course if a statistician puts one hand in flames and another in the fridge then on average they're nice and warm....

Monday 26 August 2013

Urban World App - urban statistics and analysis

"Understanding cities and their shifting demographics is critical to reaching urban consumers and to preparing for the challenges that will arise from increasing demand for natural resources (such as water and energy) and for capital to invest in new housing, office buildings, and port capacity."

Cities are of vital importance to the future world.

This new iPad app from the McKinsey Global Institute provides a detailed analysis of cities around the world.
Read about it HERE.

Personal Statistics

We' re all statistics from the moment we're born.
We add one to the population of the world...

Here's Danny Dorling exploring life expectancy....

Monday 17 June 2013

VITAL Teachshare session

On the 29th of January, I ran a VITAL Teachshare session on numeracy in geography, where I introduced people to the I-USE project.
The session was called 'You can count on Geography', and included a number of ideas for working with numbers / statistics and databases in geography.
I'm grateful to those who came along to the session...
The presentation I used is here:

If you have any questions having watched the presentation, please get in touch.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

EuroGeo13 - I-USE Session

The final day of the EuroGeo conference involved a session for the I-USE project.

The 3rd day of EUROGEO started with the 5th session, which meant that we were involved.

It was a damp day in Bruges, and we wandered over wet cobbles as the town came to life again, and generally got damp on the way. There was an introductory session for the I-USE project. Karsten Duus, from Denmark led the session on our behalf, with input from all the partners.

Our website  has been launched now, and although there is not a large amount of information at present - the site will grow through the life of the project.

We talked through the introduction to the project, the development of the website, and our plans over the life of the project.

There was an existing website, called WORLDSTAT which started it all off...
The project develops that forward, with a range of tools and other elements, some of which I shall be writing.

One of the people who came to the presentation was involved in the Dutch EduGIS website. This is well worth a look too.

We have a new FACEBOOK group, which you are welcome to join.
There's also a TWITTER feed to follow

Get in touch through the comments if you'd like to find out more or have specific questions...

Tuesday 7 May 2013

EuroGeo 2013 - Bruges - our 2nd project meeting, and presentation

I-USE partners are preparing to travel to Bruges later this week for the EuroGeo conference.
Some are already there taking part in other courses which are dove-tailed to the event, including an iGUESS GIS course, which has some innovative new ideas for using ArcGIS Online.

I-USE will feature in one of the sessions at the conference, and after the main event, project partners will be having a meeting to discuss progress so far, see the draft website and discuss the next steps.

I'll be heading to Bruges on Thursday via Eurostar, and will be tweeting and sending other updates from the event.
The hashtag for the conference is #eurogeo13

Further information on the things that we have developed will appear here, on this blog, during and after EuroGeo, as with the first meeting in Ghent.

Sign up to follow the Twitter account for I-USE  @StatsinEdu to find all the latest on the project as we move into the second phase.

We are scheduled for a presentation as part of the conference, on the Saturday morning.
If you're a delegate, come and find us and say hello and find out more.

Details below:

The Importance of Statistics

As part of the International Year of Statistics 2013, a video competition was held, with the theme" 'The Importance of Statistics'.

The resulting videos can be viewed HERE, particularly the winning video...

Excellent work by Jason Girouard

This is an excellent video, and was the overall winner of the competition.

How about challenging your students to make their own videos on this theme ?

UK Aid

A useful visualisation of UK Aid...
Do you understand all of the statistical ideas here ?
A reminder of the need for statistical literacy when it comes to large numbers, and the relationships between different indicators.

Get Adobe Flash player

UNEP Posters

I am grateful to Ben Hennig for letting me know about a series of posters which have been produced by UNEP

We will be referring to the data that lies behind these posters as part of the I-USE project, as we develop the website.

There will also be a guide to some of the iPad Apps which have been produced by organisations like UNEP, as part of the toolkit which is developed for the website.

There are 'BASIC FACTS' posters, as well as some Infographics ones....

Monday 22 April 2013

Trend and Variability

The I-USE project will involve a range of people working on resources for a number of subjects, to develop the idea of statistical literacy.

For the teacher training materials we will need some simple resources to reinforce key trends....

I was reminded of this excellent video for exploring the idea of TREND and VARIATION in data, which we will hopefully make use of. It's the simplicity of the video that I like, and is something we should perhaps aim for with some of the materials that make their way onto the i-USE site.

Better statistical teaching....

Means focussing on teachers....

This Australian video on VIMEO makes some important points...
Great Teachers are Great Learners...

We are exploring some of the innovative ways that teachers develop as learners, particular with regards to statistical literacy - they will form part of the materials which we develop as part of our iUSE website.

Great Teachers Are Great Learners - AITSL from Innovation Unit on Vimeo.

If we take a look at the TPACK model in this context, what do we need to provide, to ensure that the training package that is created as part of the project finds its widest audience ??

Exciting times ahead...

Thursday 28 March 2013

Significance Magazine

One useful website I've come across while researching the available resources is SIGNIFICANCE magazine.

There are previous copies available to view, as well as a poster on the International Year of Statistics.

There is a useful section of WEB ONLY articles which accompanies the print edition of the magazine. For those who are starting out thinking about statistical literacy, this would make good reading.

If you have an iOS or Android device you can also download an app and request all the issues of the SIGNIFICANCE magazine that are published in 2013 to be sent to your app free of charge.

Monday 25 March 2013

Statistics in the UK Curriculum

“My basic idea is that the world has changed so much, what people need isn’t more data but a new mindset …countries and corporations alike need to adopt that same data-driven understanding of the world if they are to make sense of the changes we are experiencing in this new century and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead”
Professor Hans Rosling

One of the tasks of the I've started to explore this with the aid of a few sources, is to explore where statistics lies within the UK curriculum. We are looking to map the places where statistics and databases are covered other than the obvious place within the Mathematics and ICT areas.

In early January, there was a useful and timely article in the Times Educational Supplement (TES). I'd bought a copy as there was an article in it by a colleague of mine: Paula Owens, but found the statistics article was perhaps more useful.

Regardless of your subject interest, if you can help and identify a place where statistics is mentioned and forms part of your subject at KS3 or KS4 please get in touch, or add a comment below. That will help feed into the work that is already being done in this area.

Thursday 7 February 2013

New UK Curriculum

A new National Curriculum for England and Wales, for pupils aged 11-14 was announced today. It is a draft and open for consultation until mid April.
The Numeracy statement is interesting in the context of this project. I have highlighted the first section in red:

Teachers should develop pupils’ numeracy in all subjects so that they understand and 
appreciate the importance of mathematics. Pupils should be taught to apply arithmetic 
fluently to problems, understand and use measures, estimate when using calculators 
and other technologies to produce results, and then interpret them appropriately. 
Pupils should apply their geometric and algebraic understanding, and relate their 
understanding of probability to the notions of risk and uncertainty. They should also 
understand the cyclical process of collecting, presenting and analysing data. They 
should be taught to apply their mathematics to both routine and non-routine problems, 
including breaking down more complex problems into a series of simpler steps.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Thought for the Day

"While it is easy to lie with statistics, it is even easier to lie without"
Frederick Mosteller

Monday 21 January 2013

New LOGO for the project

Thanks to Alex and Irena for their work on the logo for I-USE.

We will be using this to brand all the materials that will emerge during 2013...

Saturday 12 January 2013

Statistics Resources Online

While carrying out the research to uncover some of the available resources and ideas for statistics teaching in the UK, I came across some other materials


A useful set of materials has been produced and shared at STEW: Statistics Education Web

This has a range of activities for different grades within the US system.

If anyone reading this is aware of any specific support for statistics education within the UK in particular, please get in touch. I am already pursuing several avenues, but you may be able to save me some time, and for that I would be grateful.