Teaching young people about data by making datastories
In our ongoing effort to test and find the best way to teach people about data. We decided to teach people, by having them come behind the scenes and be the ones who made a datastory. Not just the ones reading and critiquing it.
Format and setup
The workshop was made with schoolchildren in mind, both due to the length and content. As such the workshop was offered in our school catalogue, where teachers have the option of reserving the workshop for their class.
The workshop is 4 hours long, from 10 to 14 o’clock, with a short break and a larger dinner break in between. The longer format allows us to expand upon the design proces and allow the students to go through a sped up design phase, before getting to grips with the data.
We begin by introducing the students to data as a larger concept, datastories, and how datastories are used to make sense of large datasets.
After we have explained data and datastories in a larger context, we give them the following infographic from the danish statistical bureau, with data of an average 15 year old boy/girl. We use this particular infographic, as our experience show that data is a lot more interesting if it is quite closely related to the participant.
The students are asked to ponder the infographic, trying to find aspects of it that they would like to expand upon. They are given ten minutes to find ten different aspects they find interesting and would like to expand upon. This is to force them to think broadly about the data blocks in the infographic.
Research and Prototyping
After they have found their focus, the student are asked to research the data behind that particular part of the infographic, and create their won expanded stories.
Then the stories are visually prototyped on paper, with input from the workshop runners.
After the prototype have been discussed and approved, it is recreated, with the discussed modification, in canva (an online tool for easily creating infographics canva.com).
For more details, the workshop and how to recreate it, will be detailed in our upcoming cookbook.