Going Deeper

Jami and I continued to experiment together. One of those experiments was with the Ocean of Data Institute (ODI), based in Boston. IBM, one of our strategic partners, introduced me to them. Ocean of Data, an initiative of the Education Development Center, was at the forefront of efforts to develop data literacy curricula for schools.

They were intrigued by Dayton’s exploration of agile learning in classrooms, and Dayton was intrigued by the potential of empowering their students as data storytellers.

Jami just needed to find a teacher willing to experiment. She found Carrie, a science teacher.

We connected Carrie to ODI and the planning for the sprint began. She came up with a three-week sprint where the students had to tell a story through a data analysis that answered one of the environmental questions she had given them – all drawn from the local ecosystem. ODI would send one of their staff members out to Oregon to observe.

Carrie added an important piece to the puzzle: standards mapping. She launched, and the students delivered.

One of the challenges of bringing new learning practices into high schools was the requirement that the learning aligns with nationally defined standards. There are two sets of standards that teachers have to work with: one called Common Core, focusing on English and Math, and the other, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), focusing on science education.

Carrie had a deep understanding of NGSS. So she would constantly challenge herself to defend how the learning that was being done mapped against these standards. She went through this same exercise with this sprint. It was impressive to watch.

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