Teaching about Data: A resource for educators
Summary: PI and Cardiff University have developed this resource for educators whose students want to learn about data and tech, and what we describe as critical data literacy.
Every day new developments in tech and data are creating profound changes in how society is ordered, decisions are made, and whether people are empowered or monitored through data and tech. For instance, systems are increasingly used to make decisions about who gets a loan on what conditions, who is most likely to commit a crime (again), who will receive social services, and which students are learning well. These systems all have their limitations. For instance, the data that inform and train these systems are often incomplete or faulty. In turn, the results may be inappropriate, undesirable, and unjust.
Educators are crucial to this mission.
We've created this resource for educators seeking educational material and tools to help their students navigate these issues. As educators ourselves, we believe that critical data literacy is an essential set of skills for people.
This learning resource can be useful to any person who wants to educate others, i.e. teachers in formal education, educators in non-formal education, people working in NGOs on related topics, organisers of community workshops, activists, or media makers who might be interested in creating critical data literacy resources themselves.
* This resource is the result of a joint multi-year initiative with Ina Sander from Cardiff University.
Although digital and data technologies are becoming more and more ubiquitous and influential in our daily lives, people’s knowledge about how these technologies work and how they affect their lives is limited.
When educating about data technologies – or fostering ‘critical data literacy’ – our research and practical experience have identified a number of good practices.
How do you find the right educational resource for your group of learners? We summarise key aspects to consider and recommend specific formats and resources.
The good news: there are already many educational resources about data that are freely available and ready to use. In this chapter, we give a brief overview of different formats and present a database that helps to filter the wide range of existing resources.
If you are interested in creating your own teaching material, that's great - the world needs more and imaginative educational resources. In this chapter we collect some recommendations for future content based on our research and practical experience.