3 major ways to boost basic data literacy in K-16

By Laura Devaney, Director of News, @eSN_Laura
May 20th, 2016

data literacy

A new report outlines the need for K-16 students to develop key data literacy skills

Focusing on three specific areas could be key to boosting K-16 students’ data literacy in a world where big data’s importance grows daily, according to a new report.

EDC’s Oceans of Data Institute (ODI) convened an expert panel of data analysts and educators for a workshop on data literacy, and panelists focused on what it means to be data literate in today’s world of big data, as well as what to teach students to prepare them to be part of today’s workforce and society.

The panelists’ recommendations are included in a new report, Building Global Interest in Data Literacy: A Dialogue.

During their discussion, panelists developed and endorsed a data definition: The data-literate individual understands, explains, and documents the utility and limitations of data by becoming a critical consumer of data, controlling his/her personal data trail, finding meaning in data, and taking action based on data. The data-literate individual can identify, collect, evaluate, analyze, interpret, present, and protect data.

Key skills associated with data literacy include competency in data visualization design, solving problems, thinking critically, thinking computationally, formulating productive questions, being cognizant of data security, understanding spreadsheets, and understanding design thinking/data life cycle.

Next page: Why the need data know-how, and why now?