'16-'17 General Discussion for Lesson 2.7

Use this thread to discuss your questions and comments about how to run the lesson.

I have 93 AP CSP students. I was thinking about having them all go to the same class tracker link. Or would it be better to separate by sections. I don’t think it matters except it will be a lot of data to clean up. What do you think?

@carmichaelc I have about 100 students too and I am planning on using the same tracker. I think for “cleaning the data” I will just have students clean it in pairs or groups which will speed up the process a bit. In general, more data is better data from a math perspective!


What an interesting day to start this chapter! It sure is easy to make this class seem relevant this year! First, we have a DDOS attack while we are wrapping up the Internet unit now we have a major failure of Data Stories to start out the data unit!!

Last year I felt like the natural focus was on meta-data. Advertising, tracking, what companies/gov could know from your browsing…

This year it feels like it will be understanding the uses, miss uses and limitations of data and data stories…

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I am curious about the left-brain and right brain Zimbio quiz. I thought a person who is “left-brained” is often said to be more logical, analytical, and objective. A person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective. However, zimbio is stating the opposite. Several students got 100% (L or R) and definitely don’t agree with that. Any one else with the same thoughts?

This made me look at the lesson plan. The zimbio quiz supposedly tells a person if they are left-brain or right-brain. I believe the point of having the students take the quiz is to see how online quizzes can be used to collect data. I copied this from the lesson plan: “That “dumb” online quiz you took at the beginning of class is an example. These quizzes ask people to reveal things about themselves, their preferences, likes and dislikes. This is data! While these online quizzes are probably innocuous, some interesting things about people could probably be discovered if the data were analyzed.” Pretty sure that this quiz is not scientifically based.

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I missed that “dumb” part. Thanks for pointing that out.

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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).

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@frank_w_lee I struggled with the same thing. Students bought into it, but they didn’t really have the same enthusiasm for the content. I found relating it to the news events helped (the election provided a lot of “telling a story with data” material). I wrote a little about it here.

I think the need for computer science in data becomes more obvious once we get to big data. My students accidently stumbled into this when I had them find their own data set to analyze. Many of the data sets were too large and would crash the chromebooks which illustrated quite nicely the need for stronger computing tools.

I LOVE the idea of having a code.org video. It is odd how having a complete stranger tell a student “this is important” is more effective than having the teacher say it… SMH.

I have had guest speakers into my classroom in the past and I wonder if finding a guest speaker on the topic of data would be helpful?

Thanks for sharing - I am glad I wasn’t the only one in this position. ALSO, I too would love to deepen my own understanding of data science so I can deliver this unit more effectively to students. Have you looked into taking any courses on the topic?


Dealing with data is new for me since I did not get to that unit while piloting the CSP course last year. My students have not cleaned any data yet so it will be interstIng to see how they will respond. @kaitie_obryan I like your suggestion about inviting a guest who is knowledgeable about data. I think that would be beneficial for me and the students. My goal for this year is to be a better understand how to use data.

I never thought about taking a course on the topic. That actually sounds very interesting! Realistically, it’s one of those things that I’d like to do but will not likely get to. Meanwhile, this curriculum is teaching me a bit and I’m enjoying what I learn. :o)