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Creating Online Probability and Statistics Education for K-12 Teachers of Common Core

Creating Online Probability and Statistics Education for K-12 Teachers of Common Core

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Jake LennertI’m from Cincinnati, Ohio, and I chose Duke because of the amazing combination of world-class academics and resources with unrivaled school spirit.

I came into Duke with no statistics experience, as I only had taken some calculus courses in high school. I serendipitously signed up for Stats 101 my first semester, and I found that I really enjoyed the real-world applicability of statistics. In a society where we are bombarded by information, being an informed and analytical citizen requires a thorough understanding of statistical concepts. Whether you are discussing sports, interpreting studies or buying a product, statistics empowers you to critically understand the world we live in.

With the implementation of the Common Core curriculum across the nation, more statistics will be woven into mathematics courses, especially at the high school levels. Many math teachers do not have strong exposure to statistics because the importance of statistics has grown synergistically with the emergence of big data and computing. Our team set out to address that problem by making a free Coursera class on basic statistics oriented toward high school teachers.

I personally got to plan, film, edit and publish numerous videos where I explained different statistical lessons. These videos were published on Coursera and seen by thousands of students online. It was an incredible experience knowing that I was able to have an impact on many peoples’ lives.

Although I did not become a statistics major, my experience on the team led me to major in sociology, where I saw a similar focus on statistical methods with a humanitarian connection. I strongly encourage everyone to apply to projects that interest you rather than ones that align with your career interests. You never know where your experiences will take you. Even though I am planning to go to medical school, I consider my Bass Connections experiences invaluable in making me confident, creative and open to change.

I am currently serving as co-chair on the Bass Connections Student Advisory Council where it is a privilege to share our insights and suggestions with administrators and faculty to make Bass Connections even better.

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