EDTC 6431 – Module 3 -Selecting Data Sources

The ISTE standard for Research and Information Fluency include the following objectives:

Students will:

  1. Define information fluency, and explain why it is important for learning.
  2. Identify strategies for guiding inquiry.
  3. Learn how to locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  4. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
  5. Explain how technology can be used to help process data and report results.
  6. Discuss research related to the effectiveness of technology when used to aid learning.

Updated Triggering Event Question:

What are some data sources secondary math teachers can use to support their student learning about understanding and using data?

In the article Establishing Twenty-First-Century Information Fluency (Sharkey, 2013) the author quotes another paper that states that students have a need to, “…have the tools they need to synthesize, evaluate, and create information.” (Fisher & Frey, 2010). Students want to know what purpose Algebra and advanced mathematics will serve outside of the schoolhouse. These needs plays very well to math teachers because of the wealth of data that is now available. Within all that data are many stories waiting to be told if only someone would sort through it and look for them.

Because there is so much information available, students first need to learn how to decide what sources of information are valid to use. Governmental and regulatory agencies are a good starting point. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/data.html) publishes data related to demographics which can be used to identify changes in our society. The United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor and Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/data/) publishes data that students will have heard about, as they are commonly fodder for political debate. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics even publishes a micro-site (https://www.bls.gov/audience/students.htm) directed towards use by students and educators. An organization that provides source data for the debate around global warming is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Sample from Bureau of Labor and Statistics micro-site.

Administration (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/). Another agency that provides
information about trends in our society is the Centers for Disease Control (https://www.cdc.gov/datastatistics/). While there are other sources to find similar information, these sites are examples of original sources that are the basis for the discussions that happen in the public square.

Works Cited

Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2010). Preparing Students for Mastery of 21st Century Skills. 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn.

Sharkey, J. (2013). Establishing Twenty-First-Century Information Fluency. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 53(1), 33.



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