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Learning about statistics with scientific calculators

Kissane, B. (2019) Learning about statistics with scientific calculators. Reflections, 44 (4). pp. 2-6.

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Abstract

While technology is a prominent feature of modern mathematics education, frequently the technologies of interest require substantial investment of resources. Less sophisticated technologies - in particular, calculators - are frequently overlooked and often not even regarded as part of a school’s ICT activities, even though they are widely available to students and accepted for use in examinations. (Kissane, 2016).

In previous Conference Editions of Reflections, I suggested some ways in which a calculator might support students learning about some aspects of Number (Kissane, 2017b) and Measurement (Kissane 2018), drawing on the model proposed by Kissane and Kemp (2014) for using calculators in education developed. In addition to computation, other aspects of calculator use proposed include representation of mathematical objects and concepts, exploration of mathematics and affirmation of student thinking. As well as in the original paper, these four aspects are described and illustrated elsewhere (including Kissane (2017a), so will not be elaborated further here. In this paper, a further example of these ideas is offered and briefly discussed, concerned with Statistics.

A number of aspects of statistics are addressed, including learning about descriptive statistics, understanding the nature of various statistical measures and the Normal probability distribution and using bivariate statistics to analyse real data. While a scientific calculator of course eases the computational burden on students, and is virtually indispensable if real data are to be encountered by students, its major contribution might be to provide an environment in which important statistical concepts can be readily and productively explored.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
Publisher: Mathematical Association of New South Wales
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/64371
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