Acquiring data from online sources draws on, and develops, students’ digital literacy skills. Digital literacy skills include navigation skills and information management; synthesis and critical assessment; and the ethical and legal use of information. Spreadsheets are useful tools that enable us to manage, analyse and visualise data such as a chart or graph. Data validation is a key skill of using simple formulas to automate calculations. In this sequence, the students’ inquiry on a chosen context leads to them to design and create digital information that incorporates a data visualisation such as an infographic.
Flow of Activities
Navigation skills and information management are important digital literacy skills. Evidence of these skills are demonstrated when students efficiently locate up-to-date, relevant and accessible sources and then organise sources for efficient retrieval.
Synthesis and critical assessment are also relevant skills. Students can demonstrate them by selecting appropriate resources from a list of competing resources, identifying credible resources and in particular how data is used (is it used accurately?). Incorporate the ethical and legal use of information.
Data can be collected using peripheral devices; for example, by using a data logger and data probe to collect data about changing soil temperatures for plants. The data can be recorded, interpreted and presented as a digital graph.
Electronic kits such as LittleBits and microcontrollers such as BBC Micro:bit and Arduino have sensors that can be used to collect/display data.
Spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel and iOS Numbers enables users to do numeric calculations and analysis. The formulas enable automation and allow the user to develop complex calculations that can change based on the numbers entered. The user can also create charts based on the data entered.
Data visualisation involves using tools to present data in a visual context. Visualising data enables us to more easily see patterns, trends and correlations.
Data visualisation tools such as spreadsheets enable us to present data as charts and graphs. Other tools provide more sophisticated ways to visualise data such as infographics, geographic maps and heat maps that use colour to communicate relationships between data values.