Young children are often taught data collection and data interpretation by using picture graphs. It gets across some basic ideas and concepts about data visually. Rebecca Peacock’s video is also teaching literacy because The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a well known children’s story. Her video is well suited to a flipped classroom approach. There is also a maker approach to education these days too where students are encouraged to make things and use technology to further their ideas and understanding. The making aspect of learning is to engage the brain through hands on involvement in a process .
Use Crayons To Share Data Between Digital Computer And Human Mind is a well thought out tutorial on instructables.com and is well worth the read. The reason for the tutorial is to cover what the author sees as a sizeable gap in allowing humans to understand data collection and the meaning of data:
“A missing element here is a type of data that a human can physically create using only their mind and body and basic art tools, can also read using the same, and that a computer can both read using *very* simple code and write using simple hardware, such as a set of markers on springs with coils and magnets to drive them, which could easily be made from trash and found items.“
The tutorial is very much designed along an appreciative inquiry model and has a lot to recommend it in terms of developing cognitive ability and a real understanding of data collection and code. It is from someone who did a computer science course and didn’t get it. I did a database course and didn’t get it but got distinctions in all the other related courses and so I wasn’t failed. The tutor could see I could understand a lot to do with computers, just not what I was being asked to do with databases. I was not allowed to show her that I had constructed databases of my own. I was expected to do the exercises we were given in order to get a pass in databases. I suspect the same with the person who has created this instructable about using crayons and code. It is important to use a variety of methods to help people understand data collection and how it works. That is critical: teaching students according to their needs. It is something we need to play around with more and find out more and better ways of teaching things related to data. For some reason I can create my own databases but I can’t created them from data I am given. It drives me crazy and I get it wrong. I don’t actually care how many brown shoes were ordered. Other people will have different saturation points in learning. Maybe crayons are the answer.