Monday, 15 February 2010

Online Dating

Spent some time obsessing over the OK Trends website (seriously, how awesome is this thing?) and had a good laugh with my kids going over the findings.

Started with a minute or two getting kids to describe their profile photos to the class (this ended up with two kids totally unable to describe their photos, so recreating them for us - nice.)

Then asked them to put the photo types in order of success with women:
with pets, travel, with friends, doing something interesting, drinking, showing off muscles, outdoors

Most kids went with the photos with pets as least likely to be successful ("it's a bit gay isn't it sir?" was a common response to this - gay in the now OED acceptable "bad" rather than "sexuality" meaning) and were stunned when i told them that this was the the most successful.

They disputed it.


So i gave them some data about average responses by photo type, and gave them 5-10 minutes in pairs trying to prove me wrong.
Most went straight for the mean, that didn't work, so they hammered the median and mode, some tried range but realised that this wasn't any good, till we had to accept that pets were the way forward.

One of them (god bless kids natural instinct to try to prove me wrong) point out that yeah, even if a photo of a person with a pet gets an average of 9 responses, that only means it's the best out of these types of photos, what if just a bog standard photo gets 15 responses?

Glorious (and correct suggestion), i was almost apologetic to blow this out of the water and show him that the average for all photo type was only 5.8, so pets were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay above average.

They were most surprised to learn that showing off muscles was #2 with a bullet. ("but don't you look like a total poser sir?) so we checked this out too, trying to figure out at what age shirt off becomes a terrible idea ("you wouldn't have one with your shirt off though would you sir"? they were incredibly relieved when i told them i would not).

Running through this (graphing, finding a rule - don't take your shirt off if you're >35) led one of the boys to complain that the girls were getting off rather lightly here.

We finished with a look at the differences between male and female photos (taking the form of a stacked percentage bar chart) and almost every kid left trying to (a) understand what flirty-face was and (b) trying to do one on the way out.
Loads of stuff packed in there, really functional rich activity.

I'v attached the powerpoint of the lesson in case anyone fancies using it.

How to make a Histogram on Excel

Had been struggling to create a histogram in Excel, and desperately wanted to be able to do one for some self assessing materials for my year 11s.

Finally cracked it, was fairly easy so i thought i'd share it here.

The example above shows a simple one.
The coordinates in red are the key ones.
simply put they show the start and end point of each bar (your x coordinate) and the frequency density (your y coordinate)
Key here is the extra coordinate in between bars - eg 3rd one down (10, 0) - this makes the bar return to the baseline like the kids would draw it (otherwise you just get a "skyline" type chart, which is pretty sweet in its own right...)

You then select these 2 columns of data and plot a scatter graph.
Select an individual point of data, right click on it.
Click on "Format data series", and in the patterns tab, turn on the LINE and turn off the MARKER.

Voila, histogram.

When I selected my histogram, i set the red coordinates to reference the values in the table, that way it makes it very easy to create in future.

Also, it allows the kids to really easily see how a histogram is built up, and self assess themselves at the same time (as well as being amazed at how the graph is drawn...)


It has been a staggering amount of time since i've written anything.
What can I say, mock exams, new job stuff and basic S.A.D. have all been barriers.

Here where i'm at.

1. oozing confidence about the chances my year 11 have of hammering exams
2. increasingly obsessed with peer-assessment/peer teaching
3. intrigued by the idea of non-exam board sponsored 'rich tasks'

1 & 2 going hand in hand at the moment.

will post more in the future.

Knackered like and glad of a week off.