Using On-line Resources and Technology to Teach Statistics: Show and Tell
Simcha Pollack, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, Department of Computer Information Systems/Decision Sciences
Abstract: Teaching any subject has its challenges and rewards. Current technology both leverages the challenges and potentially increases the rewards. It is well known that there are ‘early adopters’ of new technology and those who resist change. The resistance to an early technology-writing- is as old as writing itself. Laura Brady writes of Socrates' mistrust of "letters" in the Phaedrus. Socrates recounts the myth of Theuth, the Egyptian god who invented letters. The Egyptian king, Thamus, criticizes Theuth's invention: “The result of your invention will be this: in the souls of those who learn it, forgetfulness will have lodging through a want of cultivation of the memory; they will trust to writing, a thing outside themselves, and effected by external characters, and hence will not remember of themselves and from within.”
We now have many more techniques for communicating with students than simply lecturing at a chalkboard or handing out papers.
I will be demonstrating some of these (if the technology gods cooperate). They include:
- Use of a SmartBoard for recording lectures (both audio and video).
- Video taping of lectures for placement on YouTube or ITunes University.
- Use of publishers’ Blackboard-like software (e.g., CourseCompass) for homework/quiz/test construction, grading and student feedback.
- Use of a web camera for live and recorded lecturing.
- Use of a computer pen-tablet for answering students’ questions in real-time.
- Wimba facility in Blackboard for live and recorded interactions with students.
- Computer software, such as Adobe Captivate, for recording audio along with the keystrokes of any program.
- Free, high-quality videos (e.g., “Against all Odds” video series) on specific topics available on the Internet.
- Other professors’ videos freely available on the Internet.