Why Use Digital Tools in Classrooms?

Complex ideas that are difficult to understand can be illustrated with digital tools. Regression lines are an excellent example. With analog information technology, students must draw “best fit” lines through data sets once they are plotted on graphs (typically paper graphs drawn by students after many minutes of effort). If the graph is drawn with a spreadsheet, however, a regression line can be added to the graph and it changes as data points are plotted. This technology-mediated manipulation of the data helps many students understand the “best fit” nature of regression line more quickly than reflecting on the slow plotting and permanent drawing of the line on a physical graph.

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