Wednesday, October 17, 2007

InspireData and Authentic Data

What better way to get students engaged in a project then by having them use authentic data. I was reading today's New Jersey Star Ledger and there were several articles about the crime statistics for the tri-county area where I live complete with tables of all the crimes reported by the New Jersey State Police for 2006. I found the data set to be very interesting and as I was looking at the data tables, it dawned on me that this would be great data to have students look at in InspireData. Students could create the data tables and spend some time looking at the trends to get a better handle on what types of crimes are occurring in each of the towns. Using the tools in InspireData students can look at trends and report back to the class. Working with authentic data makes this task extremely engaging and can help student to better understand trends and make hypothesis as to why certain crimes seem to ebb and flow.

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