Independent Evaluations of Fathom version 1 in use by Teachers

These detailed reports were independently commissioned by three UK evaluation services. They report teachers actual experiences of installing, using and benefitting from the use of Fathom to explore data and statistics.

EVALUATE REVIEW

“Teachers could use it to demonstrate data handling at key stages 3 and 4, eg to explore the relationship between variables and to look at the outcome of probability experiments. Students can use Fathom to create datasets, graphs, summary statistics and hypotheses tests to help them interpret data.”

“Students progressed quickly from generating results to interpreting the results. Some students progressed to looking at the effects of outliers on the data and others changed the data to find out what effect that had on the results that they had obtained. This was a more advanced outcome than I had anticipated.”

“This product’s strength lies in its speed and flexibility. It is very easy to change data in Fathom: students can see what happens when outliers are added or removed, since the graphs and summary statistics change instantly when data items are changed. Fathom allows students to test hypotheses and investigate ‘what if’ questions successfully. The speed with which our students could produce results encouraged them to tackle the more challenging, and important, task of interpreting their result." Full Review

SCHOOLZONE REVIEW

Fathom is an excellent tool that enables the analysis of a wide variety of data.”
“Lends itself amicably to support Key Stage 4 National Curriculum, Data Handling, including providing a suitable medium to aid the completion of GCSE Data Handling coursework.” Full Review

TEEM REVIEW

“Fathom Dynamic Data is an excellent program which supports nearly all aspects of data handling and statistical analysis within the Key Stage 4 Mathematics Curriculum. It comes with a wide range of support material that is well designed and easy to follow. Used with an interactive whiteboard, this would be an excellent resource for teacher demonstrations or for working with small to large groups. It is relatively easy to design your own practical or problems to be solved, and data from the Internet and spreadsheets can be imported easily. Fathom supports problem solving using a wide range of functions, formulae and charts, including arithmetic, conditional, distributions, logical, random number, statistical, text and trigonometric functions, and bar charts, column, histogram, quantile plots, ribbon plots, scatter diagrams, split charts and cumulative frequency.” Full Review

The eValuate Service Fathom Review:
http://www.learnevaluations.co.uk/evalResults.aspx?PID=127

SchoolZone Fathom Review:

http://www.schoolzone.co.uk/pip/evaluations/evaluation.asp?p=CHAR-FATHOM

TEEM (Teachers Evaluating Educational Multimedia) Fathom Review
http://www.teem.org.uk/findresource/element?element_id=1798

ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS OF MATHEMATICS

Fathom 2 is easy to use, versatile and a powerful tool for handling data. There are short movies to show you the basics as well as detailed help files, and it does not take very long for you to get a feel for what the software can do.

Using the collections of data included in the package, it was very easy to create a variety of graphs and summary statistics (some of which produced interesting graphs or results which I have pursued with some of my students). The real power behind the software however, is the ability to click on individual points or entries and see the connection to the other graphs and statistics on the page. I imported one year group's key stage 2 and 3 results, (without the usual difficulties that I have with missing data etc. when using other data software). Within seconds I had a plot of the students' results. Clicking on a single dot brought up details of an individual student, allowing me to look quickly at special cases. It makes your SATs results so much easier to analyse! I could rearrange the order in which the categories to make the diagrams more meaningful and you just drag these categories to a table and you instantly have the summary statistics.

The visual aspects make it ideal for the classroom, as students can instantly see the data as a whole in a variety of representations whilst still being able to see the impact an individual data point can have. Grouping data is easy and the individual points are still easily accessible once the data has been grouped, there is no loss of information. One possible disadvantage is the size of the text and diagrams. When I used it on my interactive whiteboard it was impossible to read any of the information from the middle of my classroom let alone the back and I have not yet found a way to resolve this.
Jenni Ingram, KS3 Coordinator for Mathematics • Sidney Stringer Maths and Computing Specialist School

http://www.atm.org.uk/reviews/software/fathom2.html

Minimum System Requirements: Windows: Pentium-based system or equivalent, Windows 98 or later, 32mb RAM, 150mb free disk space. Macintosh: PowerPC-based system, Mac OS 10.1.5 or later, 150mb free disk space. Published by KCP.

Prices and Licences

Chartwell-Yorke Ltd, 114 High Street, Belmont Village, Bolton, Lancashire, BL7 8AL, England, tel 01204 811001, fax 01204 811008, orders@chartwellyorke.com, www.chartwellyorke.com