Technology Innovations in Statistics Education: A New Journal

Rob Gould, UCLA

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 12, Number 2 (Fall 2007)


The UCLA Department of Statistics' Center for Teaching Statistics is pleased to announce the launch of a new e-journal on October 15. Technology Innovations in Statistics Education (TISE) is devoted to scholarly papers that explore the ways that technology enhances, changes, and affects statistics education. TISE serves what we feel is a critical need to better help the statistics community learn not just how to improve learning and teaching through technology, but how to better teach technology itself.

Changes in technology create changes in our curricula and therefore change the very content we teach. This raises questions about what topics to teach and when, as well as what topics should be dropped from the standard curriculum. When do we introduce the bootstrap? Monte-Carlo Markov Chains?

How do we teach technology itself? When are students ready to learn a "real" package such as R or SAS? How should they be taught to use these packages? Does the time spent teaching students to use sophisticated software detract from their learning of statistical concepts? How do we incorporate technological innovations from outside statistics (Google Maps, real-time sensors) into our teaching?

More traditionally, how do we best incorporate technology into our classrooms? What have we learned, since computers became cheap and prevalent, that will help us in designing curricula and in creating new learning and teaching technology?

The first issue of TISE will be available on October 15 at http://tise.stat.ucla.edu. George Cobb ("The Introductory Statistics Course: A Ptolemaic Curriculum?") asks whether innovations in technology have allowed us to make fundamental changes to the introductory curriculum. Daniel Kaplan ("Computing and Introductory Statistics") describes the need to teach beginning students computation, and describes practices for teaching R in an introductory course. Bill Finzer, Tim Erickson, Kirk Swenson and Matthew Litwin ("Data Into the Classroom") write about innovations in Fathom that allow students (and their teachers) to incorporate increasingly sophisticated data sets into class. Beth Chance, Dani Ben-Zvi, Joan Garfield and Elsa Medina ("The Role of Technology in Improving Student Learning of Statistics") provide an overview of the findings of research on using technology to improve learning. Andee Rubin ("Much has Changed; Little has Changed: Revisiting the Role of Technology in Statistics Education 1992-2007") reflects on how technology has changed in statistical education research over the last 25 years . Dani Ben-Zvi reports on an experience designing a statistics course around the use of a Wiki and surveys the research literature to discuss how this could best be done.

TISE is now seeking submissions of scholarly papers that address any of these themes:

  1. Designing technology to improve statistics education
  2. Using technology to develop conceptual understanding
  3. Teaching the use of technology to gain insight into and access to data

Submitted papers might be research papers (reports of empirical studies or conceptual or theoretical articles), position papers (discussions of timely issues that propose novel solutions or perspectives), or technology innovations (either discussions and descriptions of new technology created by the authors or case studies of innovative uses of existing technology). Submissions are double-blind peer-reviewed by two referees. Authors retain copyrights to their manuscripts. Please visit http://tise.stat.ucla.edu for more information.

TISE has been financially supported by the UCLA Department of Statistics, The UCLA Division of Physical Sciences, Key Curriculum Press, the UCLA Office of Instructional Development, STATA, Amgen, SAS, WH Freeman, The UCLA Office of Informational Technology, and the UCLA Office of the Vice-Chancellor of Research.

TISE would not have been possible without the efforts of many anonymous reviewers, and in particular without the support and work provided by its editorial board: Arthur Bakker, Dani Ben-Zvi, Mahtash Esfandiari, Christine Franklin, Joan Garfield, Tiffany Head (assistant editor), Brian Jersky, Joy Jordan, Cliff Konold, Katie Makar, Deborah Nolan, Dennis Pearl, Roxy Peck, Duncan Temple Lang, Roger Woodard, and Nathan Yau (assistant editor).


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