Check Your Assumptions

Always check your assumptions when interpreting data and data visualizations. That's the take away from this exercise. Class members examine a failed project that looks at search trends to predict flu outbreaks and consider the assumptions that caused the failure. They then look at the digital divide and the assumptions made about data collected online. Finally, pupils explain why assumptions may lead to incorrect conclusions about data.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Distribute the articles to the class to read as homework the day before the lesson
  • Have the class come up with a list of assumptions about data that may affect their interpretations
Classroom Considerations

  • Realize that the digital divide could be happening in your classroom; if students do not have access to a computer at home, be sure to have one in the classroom
  • The ninth lesson in a unit of 15
Pros

  • The lesson plan provides a summary of the important points in the readings
  • Includes remarks for the teacher to make during the lesson
Cons

  • None