Sunday, October 12, 2014

My best project ever!!

The last three days my AP Stats students worked on a new project that I created (some credit goes to my colleague K. Diver for giving me the idea about infographics!)  I sat in her session last Saturday about infographics at EdCampRivCo and instantly knew that I wanted my students to do their projects completely electronically.

The idea:  I wanted my students to use their skills at univariate and bivariate data analysis and had formulated that they were going to create surveys (using Google Forms) to collect data from each other (I would create the form for them to paste their URL into so each could take all their classmate's surveys).  This activity was day 1.  They had to finish taking everyone's surveys for homework (60+ in all).  They were having a grand time answering each others' questions and were finding out first-hand how "not to ask questions".  We will discuss this in the next chapter, so I always like them to be in their "rookie state" when they create questions/surveys for their first time.  I don't have to expound on the importance of wording questions correctly after this activity because of their experiences.  These are the directions if you want to use them: Fall 2014 project 

Next I wanted the to use some "real world data" that they could do regression analysis with...enter which is full of data.  I made them use the MLB data and taught them how to transfer it into a google spreadsheet so they could choose the columns they thought would correlate well and be able to easily pull from the spreadsheet into the data analysis "machine".  They could either use Statkey or Interactivitate.

Lastly, they were to pull it all together into their infographic (Piktochart and were the two I offered, but 1 student wanted to do a Prezi, so I let her). By the third day, I had very little that I had to do.  The students knew this was work day, and that is exactly what they did.  I made sure that I borrowed our other cart of 20 chromebooks (our dept has 2 carts of 20) so that everyone had their own to work on.  I circulated to answer questions and assist.  When there was a problem that I couldn't fix, I simply asked if anyone in the room knew how to fix it.  Sure enough, there was always someone who did (or I might figure it out).  So I didn't have to KNOW EVERYTHING about the websites they were using.

This is what I told my colleague (at a sister school) who was freaking out on Wednesday because she wasn't sure she knew enough to have her students do this same project.  I made sure she knew how to create the google forms for collecting their surveys and how to do all the "google stuff".  She already knew how to use the analysis sites (and so did her students) as we had shared that information earlier.  Her concern was not knowing how to use the infographic sites.  I told her "you don't need to!  Show the students where they are and let them figure it out.  That's what I did.  After 3 minutes, they won't be listening to you anyway because they will be playing around with the site and figuring it out on their own."  That is EXACTLY  what my students did. I think I put her mind to ease.

Students have put their links into my form already and I have been monitoring it today to make sure that their links open (if they didn't work, I emailed them right away so problems can get fixed).  It's amazing how much they figure out after you point them in the proper direction.  None of them had ever made a google form before and only a handful had made an infographic and yet the results look awesome!

The BEST part is that I have taught them a bunch of useful skills and they were excited to do the project!  In addition, no wasted paper!  Their infographics look very professional and something I know they will be proud of. I get to show them off now!  I plan on making scan codes to put up around the room for them to see each other's, and for administrators to look at them too!

I'm proud of myself for venturing into this and proud of them for their fabulous results!

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