...this is a phrase I’ve heard repeatedly from expert big data analysts since we first launched the Oceans of Data Institute in 2013. Indeed, in ODI’s 2014 survey of close to 100 big data analysts, analytical thinking and critical thinking emerged at the top of the list of skills and knowledge essential to working with big-data across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Since then we’ve been trying to get a deeper...Read more
This spring is a time for celebrations for my family. We just celebrated our first year in our house and the first anniversary of my starting full-time with EDC. Over the past few weeks two of my sons have graduated from college, and this Saturday my oldest daughter is getting married. Happy days indeed!
At times like these, it is hard not to reflect on the importance of the things we do—as parents, as teachers, and as citizens. I’ve also found myself thinking about the work we do...Read more
Big data has become a big buzzword. For many though, this term remains very much a black box, its real world applications shrouded in ambiguity. For some, big data can often carry some negative connotations: they think of secret government agencies, tracking their every move. They think of large corporations following their every click, peering deep into the souls of consumers to predict their buying habits and preferences. But big data isn’t reserved only for the likes of Google, the NSA,...Read more
“The data shows that my hypothesis was wrong.”
Oh no. What happened? My high school students were working on the Ocean Tracks College Edition draft module, “What’s UP with the California Coast?” and this was one of my group’s final claim. They had been confronted by a few data points that didn’t fit their initial prediction of where and when they thought Bluefin tuna would be found and now they were ready to throw out their hypothesis. In this blog entry, I want to...Read more
This past week I had the pleasure of traveling out to Oregon wine country to visit Dayton High School. While Dayton may be a small rural town, big changes were taking place in the classroom. The school is experimenting with a new type of learning model, dubbed Agile Learning, to spark a culture of creative problem solving and collaboration throughout its halls.
Agile Learning finds its roots in the agile project management strategy popular in the world of software development. So what...Read more
After using the Ocean Tracks modules from the high school curriculum for the past few years in my marine biology course, I was excited to try out some of the newly developed (draft) curriculum modules that had been designed as part of Ocean Tracks College Edition (OTCE). In this blog entry, I want to describe the steps I took to implement the Ocean Tracks College Edition module, “...Read more
I first learned of the Oceans of Data Institute because they had a great idea.
ODI had just finished a massive body of work, trying to learn how best to use visualizations in classrooms to get students to work effectively with data. They had read hundreds of journal articles and spoken with dozens of experts in all aspects of learning. They compiled all of their knowledge into a report, called...Read more
With the recent release of its fourth season, the political drama, “House of Cards” was, and continues to be, a huge success for the online video-streaming tycoon, Netflix. “House of Cards” has garnished critical acclaim: its first season, released in 2013, was nominated for 13 Primetime Emmy Awards and 4 Golden Globe Awards, the first Web-only show to ever receive any such nominations. The popular ratings website, IMDb, scored “House of Cards” a 9.0 out of 10, placing it in the upper...Read more
Why Analytical Thinking?
In 2014, ODI gathered an expert panel of professionals that work with big data. After 2 days of intense discussion, this expert panel developed a list of the knowledge and skills essential to working with big data. Their work was then validated by almost 100 peers who work as big data analysts. As you can see below, Analytical Thinking ranked highest in both the knowledge AND skills essential to being an effective big data-enabled specialist....Read more
“This week in class, you are going to be doing ‘college level’ work.” My high school students in my marine biology course stared back at me with their eyes wide, but I didn’t hear the groans that I was expecting. Instead, did I detect some excitement that the bar would be raised?
I had made the decision to try something new with the students in my high school marine biology class at Souhegan High School in Amherst, New Hampshire. Over the last four years, I have used the Ocean...Read more