If you haven’t heard about Khan Academy, then you probably aren’t in the field of education. There has been tremendous criticism of Khan Academy by educators because it ultimately just lectures to students and many educators – at least the ones I keep up with – prefer having students approach math in a different way. Math is often seen as something that you learn and then practice. With more practice, you’re supposed to – with the traditional thought behind mathematics education – get better at math but I don’t think the point of math is to be able to memorize and practice problems over and over until you’ve mastered the skill. Although this can be one way people learn math, I don’t think they’ll truly understand it this way. Many other teachers really like Khan Academy because it does the lecturing for them. The program does have its benefits as it does allow students to work and learn at their own pace. Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed teachers just have their entire class watch a lesson in lieu of them teaching it, then pass out a worksheet for them to practice this new concept that they have just “learned.” While I may not be its biggest fan, I know Khan Academy does help some students. So for those of you that may get some benefit from it, check it out. Here’s a sample of what the videos are like:
Here’s just a quick heads up on the awesomeness that is NASA. They have a page dedicated to math! My favorite are the “Problem Archives” where teachers can present real data, pictures, graphs, etc. from NASA to their students in an already lesson-friendly PDF. There’s nothing better than supplementing a textbook with this kind of stuff!
Space Math @ NASA
A screen shot taken of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart‘s argument against global warming. The data shows that clearly we are experiencing a drastic global cooling!
Just one of many examples (this one being a more obvious one) of data that is represented in an attempt to influence people into believing something. Unfortunately many people try to convince others of things using data and their representations in an inaccurate way.
Or you could just go with Jon Kyl’s approach and just skip all the work of representing data incorrectly by simply stating data that is false to begin with.
I’ve been getting really into infographics lately. The video above is from Alex Trimpe.
The infographic below is from Fast Company.
It’s not always about histograms, line graphs, or pie charts. Statistics is flexible and can tell a story (example, above).
Why are the prize amounts organized the way that they are?
How much can I expect to win with each chip on average?
What is the probability of winning $10,000?
Where is the best place to start a chip to increase your chances of winning $10,000?
Shahee Ilyas found the percentage of each color used by each country’s flag and made pie charts for each of them. This may be one of those rare times that using a pie chart actually makes sense and is able to represent information in the most useful way.
Above are the representations for the countries I’ve been to. You can go to Shahee Ilyas’s “Flags By Colours” to check out the rest of the world’s.
He also made a pie chart for all the flags combined:
I love pie charts. I usually love them more when they serve no real purpose (which is most of the time). I think the one above came from GraphJam.
It appears Dilbert has a fondness for them as well.