“In times of fake news, the understanding of statistics is not only a mathematical competence, it is a political one.” – Torsten Traub, Germany
Middle School Teacher, MIE Expert
Working as a teacher in Singapore was a career-defining experience for Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert Torsten Traub.
“I learned a lot by talking and working with great educators from all over the world and from a lot of different cultural and educational backgrounds,” he explains. “I started to read teacher’s blogs, I watched great TED Talks, and I began studying again.”
Since returning to Germany, Traub has used Twitter to build – and tap into – his Personal Learning Network. And his students are benefitting, with lessons that bring the world into the classroom.
“I want my students to ask meaningful questions and try to answer them,” Traub says. “When they have laptops or mobile devices, I don’t have to provide everybody with all the material, and I can allow my students to walk at their own pace in different directions.”
One lesson Traub is particularly excited about teaches his 8th grade students how diagrams can be used to stretch the truth – using Excel.
“The purpose is to show them how manipulated diagrams are used to emphasize a statement – without even really lying,” he says. “In times of fake news, the understanding of statistics is not only a mathematical competence, it is a political one.”
Traub is making the most of his transition from “sage on the stage to guide by the side,” and is looking forward to the roll-out of Office 365 at his school, when he plans to shift all his students’ work to OneNote.
Learn more about Torsten Traub on his blog, or connect with Torsten on his Microsoft Educator Community profile.
About Torsten Traub
- Educational background: I studied Math and Geography at University of Education Karlsruhe and received my teaching degree from the State Institute for initial teacher training Karlsruhe in 2008. I am currently studying Educational Sciences part-time with a focus on media in education at University of Hagen.
- Website I check every day: I check www.kicker.de everyday, because I really NEED to know what’s going on in German Bundesliga! I also check www.ted.com, looking for new inspiring talks.
- Favorite childhood memory: Every year, when my family arrived for summer holidays, the first thing was to buy an ice cream scone. Yummy!
- Favorite book: “Der Weltensammler” (the collector of worlds) by Ilia Trojanovw. A great novel about the life of Sir Richard Francis Burton and his travels.
- Favorite quote: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” -Rita Pierson (TED Talk: Every kid needs a champion)
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: My two favorite tools are Excel, because of it great possibilities to use in the math classroom, and Skype, because it helped me to stay in touch with my friends and family when I lived and taught in Singapore for three years. I just started to work with OneNote, so this tool may join the list soon!
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Advice from my father: “Take time for your kids, they will grow up much faster than you think.”