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Teaching with Technology: Technology and Statistics


SHRIPAD TULJAPURKAR: My
name is Shripad Tuljapurkar. I’m known as Tulja to one and
all, in the biology department. And I also teach in
the hum-bio program. And the course that I was
thinking about, most actively, was teaching, kind of, an
introductory statistics class. But I wanted to use computer
learning as part of it. So I wanted to get students
to use ‘R’, which is an interactive environment. And I tried it a
couple of times, it was really challenging
to integrate the technology with the learning and lecturing. And I wasn’t quite sure how
to approach these challenges. The real issue is, how do you
get students to do two things. One is, learning new computing
environment, which is not something that’s instinctive. And the second, when
you have screens open, people want to do Facebook. They want to do email, you know. How do you get
them away from that and try to get them
thinking about the material in the course. And the third, what of the
suite of tools is available? What’s an effective
combination of things? I learned about some
of the difficulties of using software that students
have to load on their laptops. It’s really
problematic because you spend a staggering
amount of time just getting people
to make that happen. So VPTL was central
to this whole effort. It got me thinking about what
I could do, it provided me with tools that I could
use to do things better, it made possible connections
that I have actually found fruitful in my work. And without VPTL, I would
still have been floundering.

Reynold King

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