Data Literacy Trainings

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This series of data literacy trainings is designed for nonprofit staff and other leaders who desire to facilitate their own community trainings on data and its various applications. Rice University’s Houston Community Data Connections (HCDC) program and Fondren Library developed these workshops after testing a variety of formats with different audiences and in different locations throughout Houston.

With support from Civic Switchboard, a Pittsburgh-based project that encourages partnerships between libraries and local data intermediaries to fill the gaps in civic data ecosystems, we aimed to create training models that would bolster data literacy, democratize data and support equitable access to data among Houstonians.

While designing the training curricula, our team recognized the fact that data literacy is not primarily about enabling individuals to master a particular skill or technology. Rather, it is concerned with equipping people to understand the underlying principles and challenges of data andto use data in a way that supports their arguments or decision-making processes. We strived to create trainings that would empower participants to comprehend, interpret and use the data they encounter—and even to produce and analyze their own data.

These materials include documentation and scripting that allows facilitators to understand our methodology and more easily adapt the training components to their unique audiences. Each workshop has been designed to accommodate differences in age level, prior data-related knowledge and intent. All activities are designed to be flexible and accessible, employing low-tech, low-cost materials that are available in a wide range of contexts.

This introduction, the structure of the Google Drive and the trainings themselves are very much inspired by the Data 101 Toolkit, which was developed by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center.


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