Journal of Statistics Education, V8N2: Mulekar

Internet Resources for AP Statistics Teachers

Madhuri Mulekar
University of South Alabama

Journal of Statistics Education v.8, n.2 (2000)

Copyright (c) 2000 by Madhuri Mulekar, all rights reserved. This text may be freely shared among individuals, but it may not be republished in any medium without express written consent from the author and advance notification of the editor.


Key Words: Advanced Placement; Introductory statistics; Web sites.

Abstract

Both teaching and learning are increasingly becoming technology-oriented processes, and teachers are struggling to keep up with rapid technological advances. The Internet, one of the most popular media of communication, provides fast access to vast amounts of information. There are many web sites that contain information useful for Advanced Placement Statistics teachers. This paper provides information about Internet resources available for project ideas, datasets, conferences, technical support, class notes, and much more.

1. Introduction

There is a tremendous amount of information available on the World Wide Web for teachers of Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics. With some initial guidance, teachers can incorporate the power of the Internet to access information immediately throughout the world and increase efficiency in their delivery of instruction. Many schools now have Internet connections and some kind of computers available for teachers and students, and more schools are getting wired for access every day. Technology-oriented classrooms expand the boundaries of the traditional classroom. Through the use of the Internet, teachers are able to reach both traditional and non-traditional students. In many schools only one or two teachers are in charge of teaching statistics courses. Many teachers whose training and experience is in teaching mathematics courses may feel isolated and inadequate when teaching courses in statistics. The Internet has brought the world closer, and several resources are easily available to teachers.

Teachers experience different needs in the classroom and outside the classroom. Internet resources can be used inside the classroom to supplement lecture, provide motivation, and ease computations. Outside the classroom, such resources can be used to prepare lectures, homework assignments, and handouts, as well as to perform computations. Kabacoff (1995) says that the Internet provides a platform for the development of teaching tools that are visual, interactive, user-friendly, and inherently accessible to students. He also describes the principles involved in creating such tools and illustrates them through the development of a statistical calculator that is designed to assist in the evaluation of diagnostic screening tests.

Here I have tried to group resources into different categories based on their purpose. Although not listed here repeatedly, many web sites contain information that can be classified into more than one category. I have listed many web sites that I have used in a non-calculus-based introductory statistics course that I teach, as well as a few that were recommended to me by other statistics teachers. This is an attempt to uncover the tip of an iceberg. By no means is it a complete listing of available resources. All omissions are unintentional. This is an attempt to give teachers a good start, initial direction, and some confidence in setting out on a journey in this wonderful but (to some) unfamiliar maze of the Internet.

2. Internet Resources

For those who are not familiar with different modes of information transfer, search, and access, there is a comprehensive online training program made available by the National Cable Television Association at http://www.webteacher.org/. This program is designed to provide educators with tools they need to incorporate many new education technologies into their lesson plans. It is very useful for getting information about tools such as telnet, ftp, newsgroups, mail lists, image files, and html. A primer and a tutorial are also available at this site.

The resources to be discussed are grouped into the following broad categories:

Note that many web sites are interlinked, providing more than one avenue to access the site of interest. Also note that web addresses, the contents of web sites, and the organization of web sites tend to change from time to time. Most of the links in this paper take the reader outside the Journal of Statistics Education, and neither the author nor the journal have any control over the content or the permanency of those sites. If links in this paper fail, please use the information provided and a search engine to locate new addresses for the sites. Now let us consider these categories one at a time.

3. Conclusions

There is a lot more information available on the Internet than is possible to list in one paper, and more is becoming available every day. With this information, it is hoped that teachers will get a good start in the right direction, and then they will be able to explore more resources on their own.


References

Kabacoff, R. I. (1995), "Developing World Wide Web Based Tools for Statistical Education," in Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, American Statistical Association, pp. 249-252.

Ruxton, G. D. (1996), "Can the World Wide Web Make Statistics Textbooks More Fun?" Chance, 9(1), 56-57.


Madhuri Mulekar
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
ILB 325
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL 36688-0002

mmulekar@mathstat.usouthal.edu


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