Businesses use statistics, academics use statistics and yes, my argument to the least likely to appreciate it - sports journalists (students) should use statistics... Unfortunately statistics involve numbers. The numbers are generally part of formulas, and formulas generally mean MATH. This is a scary, scary word to many comm/j-school students.
But it doesn't have to be. Today we finished up our lecture on standard deviation. I used the Khan Academy - thank you Sal for being the inspiration behind LOVING math, science, numbers and everything you can do with them. Together with a few Khan academy clips - http://www.khanacademy.org/
1. Central Tendencies
2. Sample vs. Population Mean
3. Variance of a Population
4. Sample Variance
and a handy dandy worksheet made by yours truly... See the sheet below.
Standard Deviation is made simple (and gasp - understandable).
I had a student high-five me after class because, "After 21 years, I finally understand standard deviation." = SUCCESS :)