Teaching about Data: A resource for educators

Summary: PI and Cardiff University have developed this resource for educators whose students want to learn about data and tech, and what we describe as critical data literacy.

Every day new developments in tech and data are creating profound changes in how society is ordered, decisions are made, and whether people are empowered or monitored through data and tech. For instance, systems are increasingly used to make decisions about who gets a loan on what conditions, who is most likely to commit a crime (again), who will receive social services, and which students are learning well. These systems all have their limitations. For instance, the data that inform and train these systems are often incomplete or faulty. In turn, the results may be inappropriate, undesirable, and unjust.

To navigate today's and tomorrow's societies, we all need to learn about the roles that tech and data play in shifting power relations and challenging people's autonomy. People need access to knowledge to help inform public debates. After all, public debate is overdue on these risks. The debate is urgently needed so we can all decide whether and how we want these systems in our lives.

Educators are crucial to this mission.

We've created this resource for educators seeking educational material and tools to help their students navigate these issues. As educators ourselves, we believe that critical data literacy is an essential set of skills for people.

This learning resource can be useful to any person who wants to educate others, i.e. teachers in formal education, educators in non-formal education, people working in NGOs on related topics, organisers of community workshops, activists, or media makers who might be interested in creating critical data literacy resources themselves.

* This resource is the result of a joint multi-year initiative with Ina Sander from Cardiff University.