Author: Suzanne Davis – By now, we all recognise the importance of digital literacy for the future of our students – and with a digitized future comes data! One of the relevant skills that the students will need to work alongside the digitization of their future careers and communications, is Data Literacy. Data literacy leads to informed decisions, not only regarding the discernment of the data that they find online, but also an increased responsibility for their personal data and how they should or shouldn’t allow it to be used online.
By taking part in the Data Literate Erasmus+ project, our team of teachers have become more conscious of the importance of data literacy in our students’ personal and academic growth. What’s more, they have designed activities and modules (DDL Plans) which are specifically designed for students to work on the collection, analysis and management of data with the aim of training them to critically evaluate the information which they come across daily online.
The teachers have highly valued the programme, not only for the initiative itself (which has been valued as highly necessary in this day and age) but also for its learning benefits for the teachers themselves and the opportunity to discuss it on an international scale with co-participating schools:
“The training course for teachers has been extremely useful for me since it provided me with new knowledge, tools and skills to select, analyze and reflect on data for a better teaching and learning.” (María José Miranda, Project coordinator)
“Participating in the project has allowed me to systematize learning in data processing as well as learn new tools. At the same time, getting to know other teachers and projects that are being carried out has been very enriching.” (Guillem Bagués, Participating Teacher)
The project has yielded particular success in the scientific and technological subjects, where the DDL plans have been integrated with relative ease into the existing curriculum. They have already been drawn up for classes in: science, maths, business and multidisciplinary projects; all of which encourage the students to search, assess and evaluate the data that they come across in a variety of situations. What’s more, the interest in data literacy is such that the project has invoked interest from other teachers at our school and has expanded its reach into other classes:
“I have liked that many of my colleagues have joined the different projects that we have proposed and that this knowledge has been expanding at our school.” (Mailhyn Cafiero, Participating Teacher)
As with all fledgling projects, there have also been some points of feedback regarding future adjustments and improvements. One suggestion was for the project leaders to provide more models of DDL plans and examples of Data Literacy activities/lessons to aid the planning process for teachers who have not performed such tasks before (especially for teachers of languages/art/humanities for whom data may not naturally feature as part of their subject).
That said, “the proof is in the pudding” – we never know how good something is, until we try it! The best way to judge the success of an activity is to do it! During the upcoming trimestre, the teachers will be putting their DDLs into practice in the classroom. Then, we will be able to report back and evaluate our experience with the other schools with “real-life” results! Looking forward to getting to work!