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Sofia Silberberg

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To define or not to define…

Under “Digital Literacies for Teaching” in Module 2 of the course it says: “As you are reading the definitions (of digital literacy), take note of ideas or competencies that resonate with your sense of what digital literacy is so that you can come up with your own definition.”The activity associated with the post asks “What is your definition of digital literacies for teaching?” I feel that coming up with a personal definition defeats the purpose of having a definition, which is […]

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After buying Tim Horton’s almost everyone uses inferential statistics (and those who don’t are daredevils)

It’s true! You don’t believe me? Who chugs a freshly handed double-double? Only those with asbestos mouth and guts (there are some…) For the rest of us, mere mortals, we take a small sip. Based on that we decide to either wait for it to cool a bit or drink it without fear of scalding you innards. Have you ever? If so, you’ve done inferential statistics. You made a decision about the temperature your whole cup of coffee (in Stats […]

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“Incomplete” Formula Sheets

Patch 3: Sheets Ain’t Cheats*: “Here is something to ask yourself when asking your students to accomplish something like memorizing 140 different species of anything: are they REALLY learning? Memorization is not a measure of understanding. I can memorize 140 of anything for a test tomorrow morning and probably knock it out of the park, but if you ask me next week, I will probably only remember a very small amount of the material. Our students are no different. From the […]

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Rosie the Riveter

U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Rosie The Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park : General Management Plan/Environmental Assessment. [Washington, D.C.] :U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2008. This poster is a good metaphor for my teaching philosophy. It’s not difficult to get things done in ideal conditions: students who have all the required knowledge, have the time and the motivation to do all the work assigned, there is no time rush and all […]

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Like driving a car?

That’s not what usually happens in an introductory statistics course. We have twelve weeks to cover an inordinate amount of quite complex material that requires very solid mathematical foundation. Students come into the course with a very heavy set of misconceptions. The heaviest of with is “I’m not good at Math”. Add years of a very poor Ontario Curriculum in Math and we can get, with a lot of effort by everyone involved, students for which using Stats feels like […]

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What’s in it for me?

I have to take stats. Besides getting the credit, what’s in it for me?I’ll acquire a new set of tools to aid me in problem solvingI’ll be able to obtain valuable information from the sea of available dataI’ll be able to make sound decisions based on the information obtained.I will be able to interpret statistical results and make my own conclusions about their veracity.I will have a skill set that not many people has, and that will give me a […]

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“The curve”: an example of misunderstanding

I teach Introductory Statistics. I open of my first statistical inference class asking the students if any of them have ever been graded using the curve method. Invariably, there are at least two whom at some point in their schooling were graded “on the curve”. I ask if they were OK with the grade and usually the response is “yeah”, or “sure”.This is an example of a misunderstanding about how statistical inference works (misunderstanding by the person who does the […]

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