by Marsha Rakestraw

Whether in graph, chart, table, or just numbers form, we encounter data and statistics every day. We need them to help us make sense of our world and to help us make important decisions.

And as we know, statistics and other data can be misrepresented, manipulated, and massaged to mislead us.

Part of our role as solutionary educators is to help our students (and ourselves) learn to think critically about the information we encounter and to be able to discern what that information is telling us … and whether it’s accurate and credible.

Here are four short videos (under 12 minutes) that are useful for helping us learn to spot misleading data.

1. “How to Spot a Misleading Graph.” via TED-Ed. (4:09 min)
A brief video sharing some of the ways that graphs can be misleading or manipulated and what to look out for.


2. “How Statistics Can Be Misleading.” via TED-Ed. (4:18 min)
A brief video exploring how statistics can be manipulated and the importance of studying the details and context of the information given.


3. “3 Ways to Spot a Bad Statistic.” via TEDx. (11:46 min)
Data journalist Mona Chalabi offers three useful questions to ask for understanding, analyzing, and interpreting statistics.


4. “Science Journalism: Crash Course Statistics #11.” via Crash Course. (10:41 min)
Offers and overview and tips for being able to understand and spot “flawed studies, sensationalized articles, and just plain poor reporting.”


Be sure to forward this to at least ONE person who would benefit from these resources.

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