Data Fluency in K-12 Education

This is an expertise exchange in the Cyberlearning 2019 Expertise Exchange session

Session Leaders: Andee Rubin, Chad Dorsey

We live in a world defined by data. From weather forecasts to web browsing, from traffic times to trade routes, our everyday lives are surrounded—and often governed—by data. “Data scientist” has become a popular job description and new career path. Current K-12 students are coming of age at a time where being able to think critically about data, understanding both its power and its limitations, will approach the importance of reading comprehension. Our current K-12 curriculum, however, pays little attention to helping students achieve data fluency – either in separate statistics courses or in activities integrated into other subject areas. In this environment, figuring out how to effectively prepare students for the “data future” is a matter of research, practice and policy.

In this session, we will share our own experiences studying and promoting data fluency for students in the K-12 range — both in and out of school. We will describe how we have tried to define the key aspects of data fluency, what existing research tells us about designing data fluency education and what new research needs to be done. We will also share examples of tools that students can use to make meaning with data and samples of student work from current projects. We invite others who have been working on data fluency-related issues to share their experiences as well, with the goal of developing a sense of how we can best collaborate to move the field forward.