SAS, the leader in analytics, is launching free data literacy resources to help people navigate and thrive in a world awash in data. Data literacy is the ability to consume, interpret and understand data, and is an essential skill for success in today’s world and workplaces. Through a new course and a free tool for educators, SAS is making data literacy accessible for all.
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“SAS understands the power of data to help us understand our world, to do good and to solve problems,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. “In our connected and data-rich society, the ability to apply and use data in everyday life is essential for everyone, not just data scientists and mathematicians.”
From social media content to smart watches to home health monitors, data has become a fundamental part of our lives. This has been particularly true during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data literacy course rooted in today’s misinformation challenges
Over the past year, the pandemic has highlighted the critical and urgent need for data literacy skills in ways we haven’t seen before. Faced with a tidal wave of information – some true, some false, a lot of it biased and occasionally misleading, many people found themselves overwhelmed and underprepared to make meaning of the data they were encountering.
The new SAS data literacy course, Data Literacy Essentials, introduces data basics, as well as what it means to be data-literate. It teaches strategies for seeing the usefulness in data, interrogating data, discovering meaning, making decisions and communicating data. The course follows the journeys of a concerned parent, a small business owner and a public health expert, who each use data to navigate and problem-solve through the pandemic.
The course also focuses on the ethical challenges of working with data. Data ethics refers to how we seek out, interpret and present data responsibly, including the moral judgments we make when working with data. The course covers how biases influence the ways we interact with and communicate data. It will help people gain the confidence and skills to question the stories people tell with data, and also provide guidance on ways we can work with data more responsibly.
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K-12 resources for a new generation of data natives
SAS has supported education for decades, from fostering STEM skills in young students to cultivating data scientists to creating classroom resources for a generation of digital natives. Now, SAS is creating a collection of resources for a new generation: data natives.
From smart cars and smart watches to home health monitors and ride-sharing apps, data has become a fundamental part of our everyday lives. Today’s students need to better understand the massive amounts of data they consume and produce.
To help students build these necessary skills, SAS provides data literacy resources for K-12, including:
- Available later this summer, DataFly is a free tool for K-12 teachers and students that offers a simple, fast and engaging way to collect and explore data from students in real time, whether they are together in person or virtually.
- CodeSnaps, a collaborative coding environment requiring only one robot and one iPad®. Students solve problems while building a program using printed coding blocks and run the program using a connected robot such as Sphero, SPRK, SPRK+ and Ollie.
- Data Drives, which help students reconsider ways their school engages with the community. As they ask questions, collect data, and then analyze and interpret the responses, students begin to think critically about factors that influence outcomes and see the power of data.
- GatherIQ™, a free app and website that teaches students about the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and inspires them to take action to make the world a better place
- A partnership with the News Literacy Project, which helps people become critical consumers of data in the media. With the growing number of sources of information today, making sense of data in the media requires fundamental knowledge as well as critical thinking.