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  1. Mark Guzdial
  2. http://guzdial.engin.umich.edu
  3. Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of Michigan
  1. Bahare Naimipour
  2. Graduate Student Research Assistant
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Michigan

Creating Adoptable Computing Education Integrated into Social Studies Classes

NSF Awards: 2030919

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult learners

Standards for social studies classes in the United States are increasingly emphasizing the development of data literacy, that is the ability to read, analyze, interpret, evaluate, and argue with data and data visualizations. K-8 students are expected to be able to create and use timelines and maps in most states. High school students are expected to be able to interpret and argue with graphs and charts. While this is a challenge for social studies teachers, few of whom have had any professional development with data literacy, it is an opportunity for computing education. Inquiry-based learning around data literacy requires computing — flexible computing skills that students can use to manipulate and visualize data. We are creating purpose-built data visualization tools for use in social studies classes, using an iterative, participatory design process involving dozens of social studies teachers already. The main research questions of our three year project are (1) how to design and create task-specific programming environments that support learning data literacy and computing skills and concepts and (2) how to promote adoption of these tools by social studies teachers. We will be following a group of pre-service social studies teachers who use our tools in their data literacy course, as they move into their field experiences and first practicing teaching positions.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (24 posts)
  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 05:19 p.m.

    Thanks for visiting our video! You can find Dr. Tammy Shreiner's on-line education research for data literacy in social studies here which links to our tools. You can play with our prototype data visualization tool here. The project webpage is available here.

    If you know social studies teachers who might want to work with us in participatory design sessions to build more and better tools to integrate computing into social studies, please be in touch! We have a mailing list sign-up form here.

    We welcome your questions and advice about our project. In particular, we are always for good exemplars of computing in social studies. Thanks!

     
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    Kirstin Milks
    Rosio Bugarin Pedroso
  • Icon for: Renee Fall

    Renee Fall

    Researcher
    May 10, 2021 | 06:44 p.m.

    HI Mark and Bahare:

    Computing in the service of social science! What a great project with such potential for social studies teachers and students. One exemplar to share: the Mapping Prejudice project in Minnesota, which uses digital tools (mapping and time visualizations) to uncover structural racism (growth of racial restrictions to property ownership over the 20th century) (educator guide). Thanks for sharing your work!

     
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    Mark Guzdial
    Rosio Bugarin Pedroso
  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 08:16 a.m.

    Thanks, Renee!  Our collaborator, Tammy Shreiner, is interested in moving the project into more of a focus on critical data literacy, so the Mapping Prejudice project is a great lead. Thanks!

     
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    Rosio Bugarin Pedroso
  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Project Manager
    May 11, 2021 | 10:56 a.m.

    Mark and Bahare! Interesting project, and as Renee points out, so useful for examining current events focusing on critical data literacy. It makes me curious about the sorts of investigations that the teachers you are already working with have brought to the tool. What are they investigating? What questions are they asking? Appreciate your sharing your project with us!

    ~Sarah

     
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    Mark Guzdial
    Rosio Bugarin Pedroso
  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 12:43 p.m.

    Thanks, Sarah! Too early to tell with DV4L.  Especially during the pandemic, the social studies teachers we're working with are just starting to incorporate the new data literacy goals into their social studies curricula.  Bahare is now working with a few teachers who are developing lesson plans for data literacy using tools. One theme we're seeing: Teachers try out new curricula first on the topics that they're most excited about.

     - Mark

     
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    Kirstin Milks
    Rosio Bugarin Pedroso
  • Icon for: Kirstin Milks

    Kirstin Milks

    Facilitator
    Science Teacher
    May 11, 2021 | 11:46 a.m.

    Hi DV4L team! Amplifying Sarah's comment above, I am excited by and impressed with how this tool can scaffold data literacy in history for both students and teachers -- and would love to know what kinds of questions and investigations and lessons your tool's been used for already by your social studies teachers. Like Tammy and Renee, I am also thinking about how this tool could be used for critical data literacy, especially right now.

    I'm a high school science teacher who trained as a scientist before my career in the classroom, and I'm curious about how teachers with history trainings might have different conceptions of data literacy or representations of data than someone who works in or teaches STEM. Do your experiences show any salient differences, or scaffolds that have been particularly high-leverage for your teacher-learners?

     
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    Mark Guzdial
    Rosio Bugarin Pedroso
  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 12:52 p.m.

    Hi Kirstin,

    We could go on for hours about how we scaffold our social studies teachers -- it's something that we think about a lot.  For example, we use minimal manuals to guide use with the tools that we include as design probes. We structure our participatory design sessions so that everyone gets something working (a visualization appears) within 10 minutes, everybody tries something new (some flexibility in outcomes), and we provide suggested paths for a few more things to explore.  We haven't contrasted with STEM teachers, but Tammy has a quote that I love: Most people don't become a history teacher because they love numbers, data, and computers.  History teachers are more drawn to narrative and context. So, the focus in developing and using visualizations are different than in STEM courses.

     

    - Mark

     
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    Kirstin Milks
    Rosio Bugarin Pedroso
    Satabdi Basu
  • Icon for: Joan Freese

    Joan Freese

    Executive Producer, Ready To Learn
    May 11, 2021 | 03:23 p.m.

    Hi, 

    Could you share a little more about the state standards for data literacy/data visualizations? Are these math standards or are they found in other content areas such as history as well? Also, what tech skills do users need to work with D4VL? 

    Thanks!

     
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    Mark Guzdial
    Rosio Bugarin Pedroso
  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 06:55 p.m.

    Hi Joan,

    The co-lead on the project, Tammy Shreiner, has published a journal article tracking data literacy standards in all 50 states: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/ILS-03-2020-0054/full/html

     

    - Mark

     

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Bahare Naimipour

    Bahare Naimipour

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate Student Research Assistant
    May 12, 2021 | 01:02 a.m.

    Hi Joan, DV4L does not require any tech skills to work with, thanks for asking!
    -Bahare

  • Icon for: Rosio Bugarin Pedroso

    Rosio Bugarin Pedroso

    Facilitator
    Principal
    May 11, 2021 | 05:30 p.m.

    Hi DV4L Team, What an incredible program.  I was an elementary teacher and my sister is currently a social studies teacher.  She often shares how difficult it is to incorporate and teach data standards. Would love to know more about what specific take-aways or lessons learned you found in regards to creating an app with teachers and students in mind.

     
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    Mark Guzdial
  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 06:58 p.m.

    Hi Rosio,

    Thank you! We just published a paper at SITE 2021 on our latest findings from our participatory design sessions -- see blog post here. One lesson is about the need for good user-centered design. Social studies teachers don't want to spend their time teaching a tool. So, by making task-specific tools, we create things that are easier to adopt and use.

     - Mark

     

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Joshua Danish

    Joshua Danish

    Researcher
    May 12, 2021 | 04:09 p.m.

    Hi all,

    This looks awesome! I was wondering if you could share more about how you'll be integrating programming in down the road?

    Thanks!

  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 06:56 p.m.

    Thanks!  We think that we are integrating programming. What would you call integrating programming?

     - Mark

  • Icon for: Joshua Danish

    Joshua Danish

    Researcher
    May 12, 2021 | 07:06 p.m.

    Fair question. Well, I may also have misunderstood. In the video, you showed teachers writing code (JavaScript?) but then note that they were worried about getting it right and show the final tool which appeared to be a mix of dropdown menus to select the axis and I inferred no more Javascript required. So I inferred they were just making choices using those menus and not necessarily programming?  So I'd say that that is certainly tied to all sorts of great CS / computational ideas, but would have assumed it might not be viewed as programming without more control / power?  I think it's great either way, but as I think about some of my own projects and how they are similar or different, I was hoping to see how you were tackling that part and it's fit with CS ... expectations?

  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 07:32 p.m.

    The code is a JSON object -- it's based on the way that Vega-Lite expresses code. The video mostly focuses on DV4L.  You can see both versions in this blog posthttp://historyindata.org/dv4l/ is the base version, where code is only visible when you click on a saved graph. http://historyindata.org/dv4l/scripting/ is the scripting version where you can edit the JSON or use the pull-down menus. The menus update the script, and vice-versa. Both will generate the graph. This is our scaffolding to ease into programming. 

    We're not putting all our eggs into the one basket.  We're working on additional tools where programming is more visible.  We're developing all of these in a participatory design process, so we create prototypes (low-fidelity and high-fidelity) as design probes for our co-designers and design informants. Here's a video that we created for a group of teachers we're working with this week. This one is for a slow construct graph tool, where code is more visible and editable. 

    Overall, I see this as design-based research using the technology of task-specific programming languages. One of the variables we vary is how much the programming language looks like a traditional text language versus more domain-relevant representations, like matrices for pre-calculus. We're exploring different degrees to how central programming is to the activity.

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Joshua Danish

    Joshua Danish

    Researcher
    May 12, 2021 | 08:00 p.m.

    Very cool!! That's really interesting. I appreciate you elaborating and will be diving in now! 

     
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    Mark Guzdial
  • May 13, 2021 | 09:25 a.m.

    This is an amazing project.  I really appreciate that social studies teachers themselves were the drivers of the design of the software.  I realize that it has been built for and by social studies teachers, but I can see how this could be effectively used in many other content areas.  Thank you for sharing your work! 

     
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    Mark Guzdial
  • Icon for: Susan Warshaw

    Susan Warshaw

    External Evaluator
    May 14, 2021 | 12:38 p.m.

    I like the idea of integrating data literacy into the the social studies curriculum. I am hoping that the program includes some background on how to tell data stories and also how to design effective (not just pretty) graphics.

     
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    Mark Guzdial
  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 14, 2021 | 12:50 p.m.

    Thanks, Susan.  I'm learning a lot about history education in this project. For the teachers we're working with, everything starts with stories, and the data only comes in if the teachers can figure out how it enhances the story. They're not at all interested in data that doesn't connect to the stories (narrative and context) that they're communicating.

     

     
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    Kirstin Milks
  • Icon for: Kirstin Milks

    Kirstin Milks

    Facilitator
    Science Teacher
    May 15, 2021 | 04:27 p.m.

    Hey DV4L team! Circling back to let you know I keep thinking about your project -- that I keep thinking about how the stories are also what science teachers are after, but how the scale of stories -- or cast of characters -- might feel different. Lots to think about, and I thank you heartily for that. Excited to see what you continue to learn from teachers who use your tools!

     
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    Mark Guzdial
  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 16, 2021 | 12:17 p.m.

    Thanks, Kristin!  We've been thinking about the roles that data visualization can play in connecting students with challenging and difficult stories, like genocide and racism. Tammy Shreiner is eager to move our project towards critical data literacy.

     

  • Icon for: Josephine Louie

    Josephine Louie

    Researcher
    May 17, 2021 | 06:54 p.m.

     Hi DV4L team--

    It's great to learn about your work! Our project is very similar - we have designed prototype curriculum modules with mathematics and social studies for use in both settings, but have been testing primarily in non-AP high school mathematics classes for our research. Our focus is promoting student interest and learning of statistical thinking and data analysis skills, and we start with driving questions that raise social justice questions and help students understand social and economic conditions in the U.S. currently and over time. What datasets are you using with teachers? What types of learning or affective outcomes are you hoping to influence and measure among teachers and/or students?

  • Icon for: Mark Guzdial

    Mark Guzdial

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 09:17 a.m.

    Hi Josephine,

    Thanks for coming by!  We're mostly using data from Our World In Data, Data.gov, and the United Nations.  I'd love to hear what works for you to get social studies to engage with the computing-based modules.  Our focus isn't classroom implementation yet.  Rather, we're focusing on iterative participatory design so that we have tools that social studies want to adopt.  Even though data literacy is part of social studies standards in most states, few teachers we have found actively use computational tools for any of those learning goals.

    In terms of learning outcomes, it's the social studies standards first.  We want to help teachers achieve their goals. Secondly, affective outcomes about computing -- increasing self-efficacy around computing. Third, we hope to achieve learning outcomes around computing aligned with the earliest stages of the Everyday Computing learning objectives, e.g., recognizing that programs are deterministic, that changing the order of lines might or might not change the outcome, and that programs are exacting in syntax.

     

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