Understanding data: praxis and politics

Understanding data: Praxis and Politics is a one year project funded by the EPSRC ( EP/R045178/1) and the HDI+ network. Here you can find a more detailed description of the grant. The aim of the project is to design, develop and pilot an OER (open educational resource) to support educators in improving their critical data literacies. The aim is to pilot the OER in four strategic pilot institutions who kindly offered their facilities. They are: Tangaza University College in Nairobi, Universidad de la República in Uruguay, Universidad Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona and Bath Spa University in England. These pilots will allow us to explore what works and what doesn’t so that we can refine/redesign the OER for a second iteration. 

We live in a datafied society where decisions taken by corporations and governments are increasingly data and algorithm-driven. Whilst data are often said to be ‘collected’ as if pre-existing, and therefore simply reflecting reality, the processes through which data are generated and communicated are neither neutral nor devoided of negative effects.  Richterich (2018) reminds us that data are socially constructed and embedded in their structures. Data are political. Therefore we need technical abilities and media literacies weaved into a critical approach to understand the socio-political and cultural mechanisms that affect individuals and groups in a datafied society.

The OER will provide educators with analytical tools to think about real-life situations and relevant content that will put them in contact with the most recent issues and research in the field.

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