Reading between the lines

As a hopeful science and math educator, it is super easy to tie in digital literacy in the areas of spotting fake or misleading statistics and charts. In the video, How to Spot a Misleading Graph, there are some key things mentioned to look out for in advertisements that use graphs. Checking the scale the graphs are used in is extremely important and this can effectively be tied into any lesson where students are taught how to make a graph and how to scale a graph properly. As well, the video talks about how dangerous it is to leave out relevant data from a graph just to make a point. When students are learning how to make graphs, they will be taught about the different types of graphs (linear vs. parabolic) and what the equations of the line means so that they can access any data point in the graph.

In another Video, Statistics can be misleading, educators can make connections between the accuracy of statistics across advertisements and media and teach students how to distinguish accurate statistics from misleading ones. Simpson’s Paradox is an example of how statistics can appear accurate but be very manipulative because of a hidden variable. There are many Pre-calculas outcomes and indicators that connect to probability and statistics.

By learning how to detect false data in graphs and statistics from accurate ones, students will also learn the dangers and costly consequences of portraying false and misleading information. It jeopardizes the health and safety of others usually for the economic benefit of an individual or company. The more educated students get on this topic, the better equipped students are to make safe and wise choices for themselves and others around them.

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