I've had trouble authentically selling the whole "data" thing to my students for a while. Ever since ECS (which also has a data unit), I've been sorta sweeping parts under the rug because I've felt this disconnect between the data stuff and what I think most of us typically think of as computer science - namely programming. Even the internet stuff seemed more connected because it's kind of like - well... internet... computers... duh. Easy connection. I always knew the data stuff was extremely important and interesting in its own ways, but I just had trouble connecting it to computer science other than um... you need a computer to do stuff with data.
It wasn't until recently that several people (including participants at my local workshop) taught me that this "data stuff" is indeed very heavily tied with computer science - that computer science as a field of study and as a profession is largely "data stuff" - not just programming or internet or hardware or what comes to mind for most of us. I know - many probably think duh... of course data is related to computer science.
My question is... how common is my misconception/stereotype? I feel like I'm stretching when I try to sell it to the students because I don't truly understand the tie between data collection/processing/analysis etc and computer science.
I'm also wondering... if this is indeed a common misconception/stereotype, would it be possible for code.org to make a short video of someone in the industry vouching for how integral "data stuff" is to computer science? I feel like if students hear me say it, it's like "um okay the teacher is trying to justify why we're doing this."... but if they see Janina from Snapchat (or whatever) talk about it, it's like "whoa, a real person is telling me this... now I believe it!". I feel that's what many of the existing code.org videos bring... in addition to the excellent explanations, animations, and production quality, they bring a sort of "legitimacy" from the "real world" of computer science.
I'd like to hear if others have similar thoughts about the data unit, as when I spoke with ECS colleagues in the past, I got a very familiar vibe of trying to distance themselves from the data unit (and I understand the ECS data unit is different from CSP's, but there are some similar big ideas).