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Education News - October, 2011
We've also reduced the number of layers in our webpages so you don't have to dig around to find what you're looking for. Drop us an email or call and tell us what you think.
Sadly, this will be my last edition of Education News as I'm moving on from the ABS. I've enjoyed bringing you our latest services and thanks for your readership.
1. CensusAtSchool News – 2011 population information
The 2011 data tables for CensusAtSchool are now available on the CensusAtSchool homepage. You'll find links to the National summary tables and National time series under the red 'Data' section.
This information and much more such as height, year level of males and females, internet use of males and females and percentage of students who take action to conserve the environment by state/territory can be found in the CensusAtSchool national summary tables. The tables give a picture of the 25 307 students who completed the CensusAtSchool questionnaire in 2011. They function as CensusAtSchool population statistics. You can take a random sample and compare your sample to the CensusAtSchool population statistics or survey your class and compare the results with the CensusAtSchool population.
National time series tables
This information and more such as languages spoken at home, favourite takeaway food, and importance of environmental and social issues are in the CensusAtSchool national time series. These tables show CensusAtSchool statistics collected from over 204 000 students who participated in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011 questionnaires. You can compare data over time to see how Australian school students are changing.
Don't forget that there are many ideas for incorporating CensusAtSchool into your curriculum available on our website. As well as QuickC@S lessons that take a single lesson to complete and reinforce one concept, there are also C@SMa activities which have answer sheets and marking rubrics so you can use them for assessment.
We are also happy to receive your ideas to add to our Teacher Submitted Activities pages.
2. An Idea for the Humanities Classroom – M&Ms and populations
Understanding patterns is is a fundamental concept for geographers. Settlements evolve over time and usually reflect natural factors such as access to a water supply, fertile soils, moderate temperatures, amount of rainfall and a ready access to mineral resources.
Look at the pictures below and imagine each individual M&M represents a settlement. What factors could have contributed to the patterns of these settlements? Where in the world might these patterns occur?
Australia's population distribution and density can be investigated in this activity. Ask your students to imagine that the square of paper represents a square kilometre then get them to guess the population density for Australia and represent it with their M&Ms.
You can find population graphs of Australia on the ABS website.
Do you have a classroom idea that uses ABS data or ABS Education products? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can share it with schools around Australia.3. What Graph or Display to Use When
The ability to create statistical displays with and without digital technologies is a requirement in the Australian curriculum from Year 3 upwards. With this in mind, we have developed a document detailing the graphs and displays outlined in the Statistics and Probability strand of the Mathematics curriculum. It includes examples of graphs and tables with their appropriate year level and general advice on their features including the advantages and disadvantages of each. You can download this document from Education Service's homepage.
4. Box and Whisker Plots in Excel
Box and Whisker plots are used to examine and compare data distributions. However, they are not part of the suite of Excel charts and are very difficult to draw using this program. We've developed a tool that allows up to five parallel box and whisker plots to be drawn in Excel 2007.
To generate the plots, students enter their 5 figure summary statistics into the table in the top left of the sheet. As well as automatically drawing the plots, Excel calculates the upper and lower fences, and conditional formatting allows maximum and minimum values beyond the fences to be easily identified. You could make the process even easier by teaching your students how to calculate the min, Q1, med, Q3 and max values of a list using formulae in Excel. Your students can also format and print a copy of their chart in a printer friendly worksheet.
Access the file by going to the Education Services homepage and clicking on "Parallel Box and Whisker Tool".
5. ABS Resources for Teachers - New Geography activities
We have added a new suite of Geography activities to our webpages. Quick Geography (GeoQ) activities can be completed in less than one period and are based around a graphic or table of data selected from ABS publications.
Activities GeoQ 01-08 investigate population and cover concepts such as distribution, age structure and demographic transition. Through the questions, activities and extension material, your students will increase their ability to interpret graphs and understanding of related theories. Generally, the activities don’t rely on access to the internet and they’re Word documents so you can adapt them to suit your needs.
GeoQ 06B—Drawing population pyramids with Excel is so much easier than by hand. All your students have to do is set up a frequency table and flip an axis.
Jean, Mary-Anne and I attended the Maths Association of New South Wales conference in September. The conference was held at the Novotel in Wollongong—a pretty town about an hour’s drive south of Sydney.
One of the most popular items on our stand was the new range of stickers for teachers to give to students. A couple of teachers even wanted to know if they could buy extra on top of those that we'd given them. The other sought after items were the key ring tape measures.
Both Mary-Anne and Jean presented at the conference and their sessions were well attended. Mary-Anne took teachers on a tour of the CensusAtSchool website and showed them how to register for a C@S Questionnaire, take a random sample and incorporate C@S data into classroom lessons. Jean took upper secondary teachers through the ABS website and showed them useful online statistical tools and activities. We received feedback such as ‘This will make teaching statistics easier’ and ‘I wish I’d known about these [activities] earlier’.
We’ll be attending the Mathematical Association of Victoria conference in December so come and say hello. We might even have some stickers to give away.
7. Recently Released Publications
Physical Activity in Australia: A Snapshot, 2007-08 (cat # 4835.0.55.001)
Do Australian’s exercise enough and is lack of exercise affecting our health? Australians are becoming an increasingly sedentary lot due to the types of work and activities we do. In Australia, physical inactivity is the third leading health risk factor for women and the fifth for men. In addition, inactivity is the second leading modifiable health risk factor that contributes to disease and injury.
This publication looks at how the activity levels of Australians have changed over time; how being physically inactive contributes to particular health conditions; and how physical activity can improve an individual’s health status. Another area this publication investigates is how a person’s employment status, hours worked and type of employment affects their level of physical activity.
Diabetes in Australia: A Snapshot, 2007-08 (cat # 4820.0.55.001)
In 2007-08, most of the people (88%) who reported they had diabetes had Type 2. Those with Type 1 diabetes accounted for 10% and 2% didn’t know what type they had. In addition, 77% of people with Type 2 diabetes were aged 45 years and over when diagnosed whereas nearly 50% of people with Type 1 diabetes were diagnosed between infancy and early adulthood (0-24 years).
Experimental Estimates of Preschool Education (cat # 4240.0)
Gender Indicators, Australia, Jul 2011 (cat # 4125.0)
There is also a section about education which contains some interesting statistics. For instance, between 2001 and 2010, more females than males attained Year 12 or a formal qualification at Certificate II or above. During the same period of time, there was an increase of 4.7% in the number of males achieving the abovementioned qualifications compared with an increase of 8.3% for females. However, whilst the percentage for females attaining these qualifications has steadily increased from 2001-2010, the percentage of males fluctuated with decreases in 2003, 2005 and 2006 and then increases to 2010.
Business Use of Information Technology, 2009-10 (cat # 8129.0)
Corrective Services, Australia, Jun 2011 (cat # 4512.0)
Of the average daily number of full-time prisoners, 93% were male and 7% were female. For those in community based corrections, 82% were male and 18% were female. The rate of community based corrections for males in the June quarter is four times than that of females, and the daily imprisonment rate for men was 13 times more than for females. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders represent 19% of the total amount of people in community based corrections and 26% of full-time prisoners.
8. Contact Details
How to contact ABS Education Services
Free Call: 1800 623 273
Mail: GPO Box 2796
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