Rosenberg, J., E. H. Schultheis, M. K. Kjelvik, A. Reddy, and O. Sultana. Big data, big changes? The technologies and sources of data used in science classrooms. British Journal of Educational Technology (in press).

With improving technology and monitoring efforts, the availability of scientific data is rapidly expanding. The tools that scientists and engineers use to analyze data are changing in response. At the same time, science education standards have shifted to emphasize the importance of students making sense of data in science classrooms. However, it is not yet known whether these exciting new datasets and tools are used science classrooms, and what it would take to facilitate their use. To identify opportunities, research is needed to capture the data practices currently performed in classrooms, and the roles of technology for student learning. Here we report findings from a survey conducted in the United States of 330 science teachers on the data sources, practices, and technologies common to their classroom. We found that teachers predominantly involve their students in analyzing relatively small data sets that they collect. In support of this work, teachers tend to use the technologies that are available to them namely, calculators and spreadsheeets. In addition, we found a subset of teachers used a wide variety of data sources of varying complexity. We discuss what these findings suggest for practice, research, and policy, with an emphasis on supporting teachers based on their needs.

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