Free Education Resources I Found at ISTE: 1. SAS Curriculum Pathways


SAS Curriculum Pathways – which I had heard about years ago, recommended to a few friends that teach middle school and, to be honest, not looked at since, has grown in every good way. First of all, I was not aware they had apps and the first thing I saw that I wanted was the Data Notebook for iPad. Maria is currently using my iPad in our exhibit (check us out in the Startup Pavilion) so I am going to get that as soon as I can wrest it away from her.

I decided to really put SAS Curriculum Pathways to the test, so I tried using the resources on a Chromebook over conference wi-fi at ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) where there are currently 21,000 people in attendance and all of them seem to be using the Internet at once. So, terrible wi-fi and a cheap Chromebook we bought to test in conditions used by students in schools without a lot of technology budget, i.e. most schools.

It worked great! I was so excited I almost stayed in the exhibitor lounge to analyze data.

I found a file of high school participation data by state for boys and girls . I double-clicked on the icon and selected OPEN LINK in NEW WINDOW, then selected LAUNCH RESOURCE.

Although there is an option to open the data in Excel, using a Chrome extension, I found it easier to work on a Chromebook using Google sheets.

I was able to make changes in the file and then, by selecting DOWNLOAD, save the file to my Google drive folder.

If I was a kid,my first thought would be about whether girls had equal participation in athletics compared to boys.  The first questions I would pose if I were teaching statistics to middle school students is :

Which state is fairest to girls? Which is the most unfair?

First, I used the SUM function to create a column of total boys’ participation from 2009-13, then a SUM for girls. I divided the total for girls by (total girls + total boys) to find the percentage. Then, I sorted by the percent column.

Now, if you are reading this, these are probably basic ideas for you, but for a lot of sixth graders, adding non-contiguous columns in Excel/ Google Sheets, order of operations – use parentheses to add the numbers in the denominator before dividing – percentages, those are all kind of new skills.

In case you are wondering, the answer is Alabama has the lowest percentage of athletes who are female, followed by Tennessee at 33% and 36% , respectively, of high school athletes.  The two highest states are MInnesota and Oklahoma, both at 47%.

My home state of California is smack in the middle of the pack, ranking 30th, with 42% of athletes who are female.

There is a TON more you could do with just this one data set and there are 1,700 resources on the site according to Molly, the nice lady I met at the ISTE poster session. Not all of the resources are data nor all are related to math but they are all free.

P. S. Speaking of ISTE – I’m hanging out with Maria at the 7 Generation Games booth in the Startup Pavilion. If you’re there, stop by – and i better get back there before she kills me.

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