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ERIC Number: EJ1120802
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
Harvesting a Sea of Data
Busey, Amy; Krumhansl, Ruth; Mueller-Northcott, Julianne; Louie, Josephine; Kochevar, Randy; Krumhansl, Kira; Zetterlind, Virgil
Science Teacher, v82 n5 p43-49 Jul 2015
Scientific research is undergoing a "big data" revolution, as probes deployed in oceans, the atmosphere, and outer space provide near real-time data streams. As more and more data sets such as Ocean Tracks become available online, opportunities to engage students in the "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States 2013) practice of "analyzing and interpreting data" are blossoming (Figure 2). Students and teachers have unprecedented access to weather and climate data, images of stars and galaxies, seismic recordings, and more--data that take them not just outside the classroom but to the edges of our planet and beyond. With such abundant new data, students can ask and answer their own questions, perhaps identifying patterns that have yet to be discovered by scientists. While large scientific data sets can potentially transform teaching and learning (Barstow and Geary 2002; Borne et al. 2009; Ledley et al. 2008; Marlino, Sumner, and Wright 2004; NSF Cyberinfrastructure Council 2007; Rainey et al. 2013; Slater, Slater, and Olsen 2009), access to data often comes with a catch: Data portals meant for scientists can be unintelligible to students and teachers due to cryptic labeling, unintuitive navigation structures, unfamiliar data visualizations, and complicated analysis tools. There is a need for critical scaffolds, including customized interfaces, guiding curricula, and tools that allow teachers to assess students' progress (Edelson, Gordin, and Pea 1997; Krumhansl et al. 2012; Quintana et al. 2004; Sandoval 2001). To tackle these challenges, Oceans of Data, a National Science Foundation-funded project, set out to find and summarize what is known about designing data interfaces and visualizations for high school students. Guidelines emerged (Krumhansl et al. 2012) that are being implemented and tested in the Ocean Tracks project described in this article. This article can spur further exploration of using big data in the high school classroom. Armed with the right tools and instructional strategies, the possibilities for learning about the world through data are boundless.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1222413