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Big Data in the Classroom

The growing availability of data is changing the very nature of research for scientists, teachers, and students.

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NOVA recently launched the Cloud Lab —an online interactive that enables authentic student research with scientific data. NOVA Education celebrates the release of this third Lab with a special blog series exploring the importance of Big Data and its implications for STEM education, starting with the following.

Big Data. If you haven’t already heard about it, your hard drive has. We are generating digital information at such a frightening pace that some scientific fields are now dealing with a “data catastrophe”—where more data is being collected than can physically be stored. In 2011,

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Science magazine explored the issues surrounding this increasingly huge influx of research data in a special edition . From this collection of articles reaching across a breadth of scientific fields, two themes emerged:

  1. Most scientific disciplines are finding the data deluge to be extremely challenging
  2. Tremendous opportunities can be realized if we can better organize and access the data. ( Source )

It is this second theme of opportunity that I would like to explore through the lens of K-12 formal education and teacher Professional Development in a series of blog postings that I am calling Big Data in the Classroom .

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