TuvaLabs seeks to educate students about data literacy. The creators of the site are supporters of the open data movement and believe that it can be used to teach students analysis, interpretation, and visualization skills. The open access datasets that TuvaLabs provides come from NYC Open Data. These datasets are organized into four major categories: community, development, culture, and sports. Each dataset is accompanied by activities for teachers to use in the classroom. The activities consist of four questions that students can answer by using graphing tools to help them visualize the data. For each activity, the site displays the type of data skills that students will learn.

Pros:

The content that TuvaLabs offers is unique. Data literacy is becoming more important in many fields and new technologies to teach these skills will become increasingly essential. Using TuvaLabs, students not only have access to datasets, they also have several options to graph the data and produce better visualizations. Graphing tools are available for students to use in each activity with options to create bar graphs, line graphs, scatter plots, box plots, or histograms. Teachers can browse the lesson library and see each activity tagged with the statistical learning concepts covered in the lesson.

Cons:

Currently, each activity provides only a few open ended questions for students to answer. No assistance is provided for the questions, so students must depend on teachers to help them if they become stuck on a problem.

Our Takeaway:

TuvaLabs explores a subject that will become an increasingly valuable skill for future jobs. Data literacy skills are already in demand and TuvaLabs is particularly helpful because it uses real data for its lessons. This is a better way to engage students than to have them work with the generic data used in traditional textbooks. The library of open datasets could also be a valuable teaching device as it could be used for cross curricular teaching. This strategy could help students apply their data literacy skills in a variety of contexts and get a deeper understanding of the skills they can learn through TuvaLabs.

The Bottom Line:

TuvaLabs teaches the value of data.

Image: Logo via TuvaLabs