Reflecting on Finland

It’s been a few months since I last contributed to the ODI blog, and boy, a lot has happened in my blogging hiatus! We had leaks, hacks, an election, and the Cubs finally won the World Series (though I’m still not convinced this last one isn’t “fake news”). Through it all, the ODI team has been hard at work making new connections and continuing our efforts to better prepare K-16 students with the data literacy skills required to navigate the aforementioned rapidly changing world. Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for any of the great work the ODI team has done these past few months.

What does the Data/Big Data Practitioner need to know and be able to do?

Cover of the Profile of the Data PractitionerIt is no longer news that the use of data-based decision making has reached a critical mass in every industry sector.

Assessing Global Kelp Forest Change: From “Little” To “Big” Data

I can feel the energy of the waves gently pushing at my body, the sound of bubbles rising by my ears. I look down at my underwater clipboard and carefully write down “5”; the number of kelp stems, or fronds, that I’ve just counted. I let my tethered pencil go, and it floats up in front of me as a fish swims by. Everything seems to move in slow motion around me. I am relaxed, but focused.

Standing Up and Being Counted

I got up at 4:15 AM to fly from Monterey, CA to Boston, and I don’t fly back until November 8 – which meant that one of the last things I did last night, after packing and before falling asleep, was to fill out my absentee ballot for the big election. I am so relieved. I’ve voted. Any more last-minute surprises will be too little, too late.

Teaching to Teach with Data

This past weekend I was invited to run a 2 1/2 day workshop for the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative. CCURI (pronounced “curry”) is an NSF-funded program involving 50 community colleges, and the focus of this workshop was to engage a dozen CCURI professors in developing activities for their students to work with authentic scientific data.

Profile of the Data Practitioner

In April 2016, a panel of Big Data experts identified the big data skills, knowledge and behaviors of a "Data Practitioner" that are needed in the workplace. The panelists represent a diverse array of industries, including biotechnology, finance, law enforcement, health care, agriculture, and public policy.

Data Visualization — A Matter of Perception

What an expert sees in a data visualization is not what a novice sees.  This is an important lesson learned from a two-year project undertaken by the Oceans of Data Institute, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Resources for Educators Using Data in the Classroom

Looking for data activities and resources for your classroom? ODI has compiled a collection of ODI and non-ODI resources for teaching with data.

Browse below or explore by resource author: ODI Resources | ODI Collaborations | Non-ODI Resources





Sorted alphabetically. 

A Framework for Success in Big Data

Big data continues to revolutionize almost every discipline. But a key question—how universities can prepare students, researchers and staff with the skills appropriate for success in big data—is largely left unresolved.

Ocean Tracks: College Edition Modules

These modules were developed to engage undergraduate students with authentic scientific data through investigations that mirror those currently being conducted by scientists studying the broad-scale effects of climate and human activities on top predators in ocean ecosystems. Using the Ocean Tracks interactive map and data analysis tools, students will explore and quantify patterns in the migratory tracks of marine animals in the northern Pacific Ocean and relate these behaviors to fluctuations and trends in physical oceanographic variables.


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