The School of Data

Here’s a fantastic initiative by the Open Knowledge Foundation. (Disclosure: I’m on the OKF’s Advisory Board). What lies behind it is an awareness that there’s a huge — and growing — skills gap in data-analysis, visualisation, etc.

To address this growing demand, the Open Knowledge Foundation and P2PU are collaborating to create the School of Data.

The School of Data will adopt the successful peer-to-peer learning model established by P2PU and Mozilla in their ‘School of Webcraft’ partnership. Learners will progress by taking part in ‘learning challenges’ – series of structured, achievable tasks, designed to promote collaborative and project-based learning.

As learners gain skills, their achievements will be rewarded through assessments which lead to badges. Community support and on-demand mentoring will also be available for those who need it.

So What Next?

In order to get the School of Data up and running, the next challenges are:

To create a series of learning challenges for a Data Wrangling 101 course. Developing Data wranglers will learn to find, retrieve, clean, manipulate, analyze, and represent different types of data.

To recruit community leaders to act as ‘mentors’, providing community support and on-demand mentoring for those who need it.

To curate, update and extend the existing manuals and reference materials, e.g. the Open Data Handbook and the Data Patterns Handbook etc.

To design and implement assessments which evaluate achievements. Badges can then be issued which recognize the relevant skills and competencies.

To openly license all education content (challenges, manuals, references and materials) so that anyone can use, modify and re-use it, including instructors and learners in formal education.

Get the word out! Promote Data Wrangling 101 to potential participants.

Get Involved!

At this stage, the OKF is seeking volunteers to help develop the project. Whether you would like to design educational materials, construct learning challenges, donate money or mentor on the course, we’d love to hear from you! Equally, if you are part of an organisation which would like to join with the Open Knowledge Foundation and P2PU to collaborate on the School of Data, please do get in touch by registering on the form at the end of the link.

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