NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

Course Descriptions

Data in the Math Classroom K-12

EDUC 792 or 600

Real-world data are a glimpse into a complex story that involves much more detail than the numbers would suggest. In this course we want students to look "behind the scenes" by organizing, representing and analyzing these data. Technology is central to this task, both as a source of data and as a tool for data analysis. Technology tools and web-based materials provide important ways for math educators to meet key NCTM and ISTE standards that emphasize problem solving and making connections between mathematics, other disciplines and the real world. This workshop will explore a range of web-based resources and exemplary projects which utilize technology to support these goals. Participants will learn how to find sources of real data on the Web and explore how technology tools such as spreadsheets can help students analyze, visualize and make sense of these data. Participants will complete the course with a collection of resources and beginning project ideas that serve their curricular goals.


As a result of participation in this course, students should:

  • Learn how Common Core State Standards (and the NCTM Math and ISTE standards) can be met by using real world data in math classrooms supported by appropriate technology;
  • Learn how to find mathematical data on the Web and download it into a spreadsheet;
  • Learn how to find and evaluate projects that include analysis of real data;
  • Learn to evaluate the appropriateness of varied data sets for specific pedagogical goals;
  • Learn about a variety of data analysis tools appropriate for classroom use;
  • Develop a personal collection of web-based resources for curricular use;
  • Develop preliminary plans for a technology-enhanced classroom activity that uses real data.


The required reading is found in the following articles/websites:


  • Fessenden, Rol (1998) High School Mathematics at Work: Essays and Examples for the Education of All Students, “Market Launch,” The National Academies Press (books.nap.edu), pgs. 7-56.
  • McClain, Kay, McGatha Maggie, and Hodge, Lynn, (2000). “Improving Data Analysis,” vol.5, no. 8, pgs. 548-553.
  • NCISLA, (2004). University of Wisconsin-Madison: “Designing Statistics Instruction for Middle School Students,” vol. 4, no. 1
  • Rubin, Andee. “Technology Meets Math Education: Envisioning A Practical Future,” TERC: Cambridge, MA.
  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science, “Tips on Using Research Data in the Classroom,” VIMS website (web.vims.edu).

Websites: (referenced in the study guide and linked in your online course)