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1330.0 - Education News, March 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2009   
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Education News - March, 2009

This newsletter highlights the latest curriculum related teaching resources, student activities and statistical tools that have been developed by ABS Education Services as well as other ABS resources that are useful for schools.

Contents

  1. CensusAtSchool News
  2. Interactive Age-Sex Population Pyramids on our website
  3. An Idea for the Classroom
  4. CensusAtSchool for the Time Poor Teacher
  5. Free Teacher Professional Development Days
  6. New Geography Classroom Activity Coming Soon
  7. A Picture of the Nation
  8. Conference Participation
  9. Recently Released Publications
  10. Contact details

1. CensusAtSchool News

CensusAtSchool LogoNEW CensusAtSchool Data Poster is heading for YOUR school

Before the end of Term 1, every school in Australia will receive a CensusAtSchool data poster, addressed to the Maths Coordinator. The A1 poster exemplifies what can be done with CensusAtSchool data in MS Excel, particularly graphs that are constructed from real student data taken from the Random Sampler. Teachers will find the graphs suitable for primary school levels up until the senior years. The data has applications in mathematics, social sciences, and ICT, and is accompanied by classroom activities.

Hang the poster in your classroom or the staff room and advise your colleagues of this fantastic resource!

You don't need to be registered to use the data

Even if your school did not register to be part of the data collection phase, the CensusAtSchool Random Sampler is still available for your perusal. The database is open for everyone to use, providing students access to over 156,000 student responses (including both 2006 and 2008 project years), which produce a goldmine of information for analysis across the curricula. To access the data, simply head to the Random Sampler via the Student Area, and view the accompanying sample questionnaires to find out what students were asked. These will form the basis of your data variables. Before you get started, you may like to review some of the support materials outlined below...

Needing some support?

Need help applying CensusAtSchool data in the classroom? There is a range of support materials to help you get started:

Professional Development Online Tutorials - View 6 tutorial topics extracted from the CensusAtSchool Professional Development DVD. These include: a step by step example of how to generate a random sample, Simplifying data and using the Countif function.

How To Use CensusAtSchool data - Provides a broad overview of how students and teachers can access CensusAtSchool data.

Project Reference Documents - Offers an extensive list of reference materials, such as: How to use the random sampler, Random Sampler Variables sheets, and Sample questionnaires from previous project years (at this stage 2008 and 2006 ).

CensusAtSchool Classroom Activities - Choose (and even modify) the activity for your class and learning environment. Each activity comes with a Student Worksheet and prepared data.

2008 Prepared Samples - Download prepared data samples from the Random Sampler. This is useful for teachers when the internet is problematic. Includes simplified and non-simplified data samples, covering a broad range of topics.

2008 Information Tables - Teachers have the option of a paper version of the CensusAtSchool data. Students do not need access to computers to analyse CensusAtSchool data in this format.

Case Studies - Access case studies of Australian schools using CensusAtSchool data in the classroom, including activity worksheets and marking rubric.

How to get involved: Generate a Random Sample from the Student Area of the website. Please contact the CensusAtSchool Team if you have a query or if you would like to provide some feedback. We'd love to hear from you.

2. New Interactive Age-Sex Population Pyramids on our website
Education Services have recently developed Interactive Age-Sex Pyramids for use in the classroom. Age-Sex pyramids can be extremely complicated and time consuming to produce, but with this simple Excel file, students merely enter the data and the graph is automatically drawn.

a shot of the new interactive page

A second copy of the graph is available for students to format themselves and to copy and paste into other applications.

The first of these interactive tools is now available from ABS Datasets page on the Education Services website. It examines the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations using Census 2006 data and allows students to see the very different shapes of these pyramids and hence appreciate the very different demographics.

Over the coming months Education Services will be updating all the Geography Classroom Activities that include Age-Sex Pyramids to include this new tool. It will now be much easier for students to compare the population characteristics of different areas.


3. An Idea for the Classroom

With the current Global Financial Crisis in the headlines, you may interested in examining unemployment figures over time. Dataset E4, 'Unemployment', presents the unemployment rate (as at December each year) for males and females separately from 1994 to 2008.

graph of unemployment 1994 - 2008

You may want to compare these figures with more recent data. Key National Indicators provides a useful summary of important data including unemployment rates (click on Labour Force and Demography), in a convenient and easy to use summary form. For further detail, there is a direct link to the publication that includes the original data.

Do you have a classroom idea that uses ABS data or ABS Education products? Let us know at education@abs.gov.au and we can share it with schools around Australia.


4. CensusAtSchool for the time-poor teacher

i. Prepared Samples: Instead of each student generating their own random sample, give them one of the 2008 or 2006 Excel prepared samples. If your school has a problem with internet access, this is an ideal option because your students scan still play with the data using ICT. Each Microsoft Excel file comes with five worksheets: Introduction, Full sample, Simplified sample, Help and Variables List.

ii. Information Tables: A range of tables, some with summary information give teachers the option of a paper version of the CensusAtSchool data. The tables do not require student access to computers and are prepared in Microsoft Word in print-friendly format. Students can conduct gender, year level and state analysis and make international comparisons without having to generate a sample from another country themselves.

iii. Use the 2008 & 2006 Results tables: The Results tables present summary statistics of the information collected from students during the data collection phases. Students can choose between the 2006 only, 2008 only, or 2006 and 2008 comparison tables to conduct investigations. They may wish to copy the data into Excel prior to beginning analysis.

iv. Case studies and student work from Community area: Includes assignments and activities based on CensusAtSchool data. These have been generously provided by teachers from across Australia. Use them as a template for your own assignment or pick out the bits you want to modify and use.

v. CensusAtSchool Newsletter classroom activity ideas: Browse through previous copies of the CensusAtSchool Newsletter to get some quick activity ideas for the classroom.


5. Free Teacher Professional Development Days at ABS

Computer keyboardDon't miss out on these extremely successful and useful sessions. Following the successful Teacher Librarian Information Sessions that were conducted across Australia last year, ABS Education Services has now extended the program to include professional development sessions for Economics/Business Studies/Commerce teachers as well as Teacher Librarians.

These workshops are computer based, hands-on and absolutely FREE. Since December, 2005 all ABS publications have been available to download without charge from the ABS website. This website now includes all publications from 1994 onwards and there are over 1 million pages. This means two things: firstly we are very likely to have what you are looking for but secondly, you may need some tips on how to find it. We are constantly updating and improving the ABS website, and making our data easier to find. In these sessions you will learn how to navigate the ABS website, gain tips on using ABS data in the classroom and discover resources developed especially for teachers.

To register your interest or for more information about these workshops please contact the appropriate person in your state, or call Education Services on 1800 623 273 or send an email to education@abs.gov.au.

Information Workshops for Teacher Librarians

WhereWhen ContactPhone
ACT
Canberra
ABS House
45 Benjamin Way,
Belconnen
Tuesday
31 March
Nicola Cross
nicola.cross@abs.gov.au
02 6252 6606
NSW
ABS Offices
St. Andrews House
Sydney Square
Thursday
2 April
Christene Squires
c.squires@abs.gov.au
02 9268 4569
NTTBAPia Loffley
pia.loffley@abs.gov.au
08 8943 2110
QLD
Cyberschool,
Uni Queensland
St. Lucia.
Various datesJudy Tayt
judy.tayt@abs.gov.au
07 3222 6181
SA
ABS Offices,
11 Waymouth St
Adelaide
Monday
16 March
Melanie Johns
melanie.johns@abs.gov.au
08 8237 7442
TASTBASally Wilkinson
s.wilkinson@abs.gov.au
03 6222 5878
VIC
485 La Trobe St
Melbourne
Wed
10 June
Gai Mooney
gai.mooney@abs.gov.au
03 9615 7530
WA
Exchange Plaza
Sherwood Court
Perth
Friday
27 March
Margaret Garner
margaret.garner@abs.gov.au
08 9360 5127

Information Workshops for Economics / Business Studies/ Commerce / SOSE

WhereWhen ContactPhone
ACTTBANicola Cross
nicola.cross@abs.gov.au
02 6252 6606
NSW
ABS Offices
St. Andrews House
Sydney Square
Thursday
7 May
Christene Squires
c.squires@abs.gov.au
02 9268 4569
NT
Casuarina Senior College,
Trower Rd
Wed
13 May
2-4 pm
only
Pia Loffley
pia.loffley@abs.gov.au
08 8943 2110
QLD
Cyberschool,
Uni Queensland
St. Lucia.
Thursday
30 April
Judy Tayt
judy.tayt@abs.gov.au
07 3222 6181
SA
ABS Offices,
11 Waymouth St
Adelaide
Thursday
26 March
Melanie Johns
melanie.johns@abs.gov.au
08 8237 7442
TASTBASally Wilkinson
s.wilkinson@abs.gov.au
03 6222 5878
VIC
485 La Trobe St
Melbourne
Monday
30 March
Gai Mooney
gai.mooney@abs.gov.au
03 9615 7530
1800 623 273
WA
Exchange Plaza
Sherwood Court
Perth
Friday
3 April
Margaret Garner
margaret.garner@abs.gov.au
08 9360 5127

6. New Geography Classroom Activities Coming Soon
Picture of cityHow have the centre of our capital cities changed recently? Have you ever wanted to know more about who lives in the inner city? Did you know that in the most recent estimates of population in the centre of Hobart (inner Hobart), there were no 10-14 year olds?

These questions can be answered through the new geography classroom activity called Moving in, Moving Up! The activity uses Census 2006 and Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data to look at the recent inner city population growth and the rise of apartment living.

It uses Statistical Local Areas (SLA's) to define the central area of Australia's capital cities. The SLA corresponds closely to the postcodes of the centre of each capital city. Rising fuel prices, concerns over global warming, increasing number of single households and lifestyle changes are contributing to inner city growth. The activity provides a picture of these changes through the data about people and their dwellings. A feature of the activity is the comparison of age sex pyramids for all inner sections of Australian capital cities using the new interactive spreadsheet which builds Age-Sex pyramids online.

Two further activities, Journeys to school and work and Homelessness will be released on the Education Services website soon.

For more information about these exciting, new geography activities, please contact Education Services on 1800 623 273 or send an email to education@abs.gov.au.

For previous geography activities, visit the Geography Section in the Education Services website.

7. A Picture of the Nation
The Statistician's Report analyses information collected in the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. It also incorporates information from previous censuses — in some instances going back as far as 1911. It presents stories about contemporary society and trends that affect the lives of Australian people. Drawing on the rich variety of topics covered by the census and looking across different geographic areas and population groups, this report showcases the many strengths of census data.

The Statistician's Report contains many analyses which dissect statistical data from the 2006 Census.

For example:

Extract from Statistician's Report
The full publication in hardcopy format can be purchased for $25.00 or downloaded free as a PDF via the Statistician's Report homepage.

8. Conference Participation

Have you caught up with Education Services at a conference yet? Since the last newsletter staff have been involved in Economic conferences in Sydney and Brisbane as well as the School Library Association of Victoria conference in Melbourne.


9. Recently Released Publications

Remember, all ABS publications are free to download from the ABS website.

Criminal Courts, Australia (cat no. 4513.0) Provides nationally comparable data showing the number of defendants dealt with by the Higher (Supreme and Intermediate), Magistrates' and Children's criminal courts. Includes details on the characteristics of defendants (such as age and sex), and outcomes associated with adjudicated defendants (including sentence type) by the type of principal offence committed. Information is presented for each state and territory (including the aggregate total for Australia) and for each of the three court levels.

Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat no. 3401.0) Comprises a summary of monthly data by category of movement. For visitors arriving and residents departing short term, the intended length of stay, main purpose of journey, principal destination (departures) or country of usual residence (arrivals) and state and territory in which most time was spent. For settler arrivals -- region of birth.

Sales of Australian Wine and Brandy by Winemakers (cat no. 8504.0) Presents information on the quantity of Australian produced wine (classified by type - fortified, table, sparkling, etc.) and brandy sales. Sales of table wine are classified by container type for both white and red/rose table wine. Sales of fortified wine are further classified by container type, with glass containers less than 2 litres split into sherry, port and other. Includes seasonally adjusted and trend series for total domestic wine sales; total white and red/rose table wine; bottled white and red/rose table wine; and soft pack white and red/rose table wine. Also includes wine and brandy exports and imports cleared for home consumption.

Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia (cat no. 9314.0) Contains monthly information on sales of new motor vehicles in each state/territory sourced from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. Data are provided in original, seasonally adjusted and trend estimated terms. Sales data are available for passenger vehicles, sports utility vehicles, other vehicles and total vehicles at the state/territory and national levels.

You can view the full range of previously released publications and upcoming releases from the ABS home page under Product Releases.


10. Contact details
        How to contact ABS Education Services

        Free Call: 1800 623 273
        email: education@abs.gov.au

        Mail: GPO Box 2796
        Melbourne, 3001


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        Education News is a totally free resource that aims to assist teachers use ABS data in their classroom. When you subscribe you will be notified of each new edition as it is published.

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