Flex Courses

Lies Data Tell Us

  • Dates

    October 25-29, 2021
  • Cost for members

    Free

Build Media Literacy and Critical Analysis Skills.

Recommended Grades: 9-12 | Flex Type: Scheduled & Facilitated

What is Truth? How do we perceive truth? Arguments about perspectives on truth concerning climate change, COVID-19, race, history, politics, and constitutional rights flare up continually in the United States, especially since the start of Donald Trump’s administration and with the protests for racial equality. Questions and controversial statements have arisen: Whose truth? Fake news. Opinion vs. data. Fact denial. Science vs. ideology or faith. Can data visualization help us cut through rhetoric, ideology and pre-existing biases? Can it serve a tool for representing information and perspectives in a concrete way that benefits our work as social scientists, artists, content creators and social media consumers? In this course we will explore methods of leveraging visualization to challenge abstraction in our daily lives.

Data visualization is a necessary component when understanding large amounts of information. With foundations rooted in medicine, politics and psychology nowadays almost every field uses visualizations to explore information and inform decisions. This course shows you how to understand your data, learn how data should and shouldn’t be visualized, and teaches you how to recognize misleading visualizations. Together we will learn briefly about the history of data visualization as well as examine relevant datasets in divisive topics such as climate change, voting and race related crime statistics. Whether you’re a programmer who wants to dive into the hot field of big data, an artist who loves the cross section between art and math, or simply a consumer of information who wants a better filter against media bias this is the course for you.

Who is this course for?

This course is appropriate for students in grades 9-12. The use of pathways in the course design will allow classes from a wide variety of disciplines to connect meaningfully to the program, including Social Studies, Statistics, Computer Science, and Economics.

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