We live in a world where the data collected is growing exponentially, and yet, we rarely focus on teaching children how to understand and interpret data. Many of the jobs being created today are jobs that require making sense of huge databases full of information. Data tells the story of our world and being data savvy is an essential life skill.
While standards that focus on data understanding and interpretation are only a minor part of our math curriculum, they can offer the most meaningful, real world experiences for students. Students who become nibble in data exploration will be opening doors to their futures in the world of work.
Bringing data science into the classroom allows us to make real world connections, something that can be difficult with many other math concepts. Data science is also exciting and fun, which can act as fuel for students trying to learn other more challenging math concepts. Additionally, using data science in the classroom is simple and can take just a few minutes a day. Students can look at a set of data from different angles each day, allowing for minimal prep work by the teacher and a lot of deep learning for students.
If you are looking for practical ways to implement data science exploration in your classroom, check out the Data Science tab at youcubed.org. This webpage offers everything from research on why data science is important to ready to use classroom activities for any age classroom.