A Course I Would Love To See
I'd love to see a Stats or Data Analysis course powered by selected elements of the following data sets:
- 2010 Census Data;
- American Community Survey datasets;
- Data sets from the National Center for Educational Statistics; and
- Anonymized data collected on teachers and students from schools within specific geographic regions.
This course could help develop an incredibly broad range of skillsets, and cross-curricular learning opportunities. In addition to learning the basic statistical skills required to make sense of the datasets, students could also learn the work required to clean up datasets to the point where they are usable.
The data analysis work could also tie in to learning about mapping, or other visual means of representing the stories suggested by the information we collect. Increasingly, data literacy helps shape media literacy, as many claims within the media are predicated on a specific interpretation of data.
Finally, an increased awareness of data would empower learners to use the data collected about them to become the architects of their own learning. Students would learn the skills necessary to analyze the data collected about them by the various systems that track them. Part of this course could include professional development for teachers, delivered by students within the course, to support teachers interpreting the data collected about their school and the learners within their school.
Given that the amount of data collected about people is likely to continue to increase, we have an obligation to give people the tools needed to make good use of the data.