We love to see new digital resources that make it easier for teachers to create memorable lessons and to use their Clear Touch Interactive Panels effectively in the classroom. Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau has revamped its online statistics program for students across all grade levels, from K-12, and for their teachers. The Statistics in Schools program got an upgrade in September and now includes hundreds of new resources, activities, and lesson plans that are available beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.
Of course, big data, data literacy, and the ability to make data-driven decisions have become business necessities—as much as digital literacy and technology skills. Demand for statisticians and data analysts is high everywhere from smaller, mom-and-pop businesses to large-scale corporations. If you want to prepare students for life outside the classroom, it’s no longer a matter of if you should teach statistics and data analytics, but how you should teach these topics. Demand for employees capable of analyzing data will only grow and is expected to skyrocket by 2020, according to the World Economic Forum.
How to Integrate Census Resources with Your Interactive Panel
Fortunately, the resources from the U.S. Census Bureau not only make statistical analysis more accessible but also more fun. Plus, many of the activities seem tailor-made for use with our interactive panels. Our interactive displays allow you to quickly and easily pull up the activity you want to use, highlight and manipulate data in real-time, ask students to collaborate, and show the results to the entire classroom in a format that everyone can see. Some of the data visualizations on the site are truly stunning—and they look even better on our crystal clear, large screen flat panels.
The activities are all free for download from the Census Bureau’s website, and they include everything from a classroom inventory for Kindergarteners to an in-depth lesson in correlation coefficients and scatter plots for Seniors in high school. In addition to activities and lesson plans, the site also includes other data-related resources such as games, maps, mobile apps, news articles, databases, and diagrams so teachers can design their own lessons.
Here are three of our favorite resources and how we might use them in the classroom:
Since Clear Touch Interactive Panels feature multiple connectivity, including mobile connectivity, and are fully compatible with both Apple and Android devices, we were naturally drawn to the mobile apps section. The Census PoP Quiz is a fun app that explores demographic information from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. It awards badges as users complete challenges.
How We’d Use It
If you teach a higher grade level where students are more likely to have smart phones, we’d suggest dividing students into teams. Ask a team leader to download the app, assign each team a state or two, and then give them 30 minutes to research and collect as many badges as possible. After the allotted time, groups can show their results on the interactive display and discuss what they learned. Another alternative is to download the app yourself, connect it to your smart interactive panel, and use the PoP Quiz as a whole-class warm up activity.
This lesson, designed for 6th to 8th graders, explores the frequencies of Hispanic or Latino populations for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. By the end of the lesson, the students should be able to create frequency tables and interpret histograms, and the required materials include the 14-page downloadable student guide and a way to display websites for the entire class as you walk students through the activities.
How We’d Use It
Even though we’re a technology company, we are most interested in people—and we love lessons that demonstrate that statistics and technology are not just for math or computer classes. We would use this lesson if we taught a History, Social Studies, or Spanish class. If handled gently, this lesson could also be a great jumping off point for discussions about minority populations, tolerance and diversity, how populations change over time, and what that means for us as a country. If you’re brave enough to go there.
This is a lesson designed for 9th to 12th graders that asks students to analyze Census data on marriage and divorce rates among women and men in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Using this information, students will create a scatter plot, assess how well a linear model fits the data, and analyze the relationship between the variables.
How We’d Use It
It’s no secret that high school students are obsessed with love and relationships. Again,
this could be a hot button topic—but it could also be a great way to get students talking about something that they care about and to understand that statistics are hardly dry or unimportant. We would use this lesson in a Social Studies, Economics, Ethics, or Home Economics class.
No matter which lesson plans or resources you use from the Statistics in Schools website, Clear Touch Interactive Displays will bring the data to life with TrueHD Resolution. If you would like to know more about how to use Clear Touch in the classroom, visit us at an upcoming trade show or contact us to request a free demo of our interactive technology.