Three good talks to launch the conference.
The opening Keynote by Ruth Krunhansl (Preparing High School Students for College and the World of Big Data) was about getting school children involved in real big data using visualisation tools so that they can easily begin to see the patterns. Her organisation is the Oceans of Data Institute at the Education Development Centre.
ECD develop curricula for schools in a range of subjects. The latest round of developments are putting Data and Analytics close to the core of each subject. The approach is to blend some element of didactic teaching with a large dose of Socratic learning by enquiry.
The most important message is to ensure that the data is loaded and is made available so that the main tasks are related to using the data rather than technical analysis and programming.
Presentation 2 (Big Data in Academia) by Dr Elan Sasson (Ben Gurion University) considered some of our current debates on teaching style and advocated moving from the
“From sage on the stage to guide on the side” (Alison King)
Presentation 3 (Industry Partnerships) by Jon Sandles (IBM – Cognos) outlined some of the reasons why industry like to work with academia. In this instance he covered the development of a module for Warwick and Manchester that would satisfy both BSc and MSc needs and outlined some of the issues involved. IBM were to develop the teaching materials and then deliver it.
Key challenges involved pre-requisites, differing expertise at the different universities, different technologies in use,making the materials engaging and over enthusiastic production of slides by the IBM technical experts.
One sulution to the engaging materials was to theme the whole module around a single case study.