GVU Center Brown Bag Seminar: DataWorks: Understanding Data Contexts and Developing Data Literacy Project Description
Data has become embedded in all aspects of our lives, gathered and communicated to us in ways that could not have been imagined 10 years ago. While there was a time when data was considered impersonal, inert, and intangible, today we recognize that data is a reflection of the context in which it is collected, analyzed, and communicated. The DataWorks program is an entry-level job program that serves both as educational outreach for the College of Computing and a research platform. Outreach goals are to employee and train young people from disenfranchised neighborhoods as Data Wranglers, cleaning, formatting and preparing data for analysis, preparing them for more advanced careers in data. The research is focused on the context of community data and on the data literacy needed in the collection, wrangling, and communication of data within communities. Our particular focus is on the geographical and social context of data, and on the specific use of data for civic purposes. Thus, doing this data work is a potential path to increasing civic engagement and computational empowerment.
Dr. Betsy DiSalvo is an Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. DiSalvo work is focused on computer science (CS) education and informal learning. She is PI for several NSF funded CS education projects, including exploring maker-oriented learning approaches to increase transfer and reflection in CS courses and the DataWorks project, an authentic working environment for minoritized youth that provides CS education through entry-level jobs. DiSalvo collaborates with game developers and others to develop educational games such as the Beats Empire game, which assesses CS learning outcomes and the Hemonauts game, which helps chronically ill children learn science concepts related to their bodies. In the past decade DiSalvo has led research effort to understand minoritized parents’ use of information technology in their children’s education, working with African American and Latin American parents in Atlanta. DiSalvo's work has included the development of the Glitch Game Testers program, a CS education effort with African American males, and projects for the Carnegie Science Museum, the Children's Museum of Atlanta, Eyedrum Art Center and the Walker Art Center.