Turning web 2.0 tools into tools for teaching statistics

Giovanni Barbieri, Paola Giacché
This paper aims at stressing the opportunities provided by the web 2.0 for introducing a new approach to statistics in schools and academia. Our approach is supported by two strictly connected motives: first, the web 2.0 new technology, widespread and easy to use, allows strong interactivity, facilitates and encourages a continuous evaluation of the stuff found in the web. Second, students use this technology in their everyday life for communicating, playing, listening to music, downloading
more » ... ic, downloading movies and also studying. This paper aims at showing that Statistics education could profit from the combination of these two aspects, describing how some websites provide interactive lessons, explanations, information about data (metadata), ways of representing statistical information and so on. INTRODUCTION This paper deals with web 2.0 and statistics, trying to take into account the point of view of teachers and students as users, following a path from teaching the fundamentals of statistics to the dissemination of statistical information. Our reflections move from a particular perspective, as webmasters of the part of the site of Statistics Italy devoted to helping the world of education in approaching official statistics. We think that this provides us with a knowledge of what they demand as users. This perspective is different from that of educators and, however limited and possibly biased, throws a different light on the possible marriage between statistics and web 2.0 tools. The paper illustrates briefly the context in which these tools affect teachers and students; the environment in which they live and act; why these tools are so attractive and effective; and finally some examples related to the application of web 2.0 tools. The main conclusion is that students and teachers should not only know and consult the websites adopting web 2.0 concepts, but also use these tools as tools in the day-by-day process of teaching and learning.