“A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks” by Jonathan Schwabish: “Now more than ever, content must be visual if it is to travel far. Readers everywhere are overwhelmed with a flow of data, news, and text. Visuals can cut through the noise and make it easier for readers to recognize and recall information. Yet many researchers were never taught how to present their work visually.
This book details essential strategies to create more effective data visualizations. Jonathan Schwabish walks readers through the steps of creating better graphs and how to move beyond simple line, bar, and pie charts. Through more than five hundred examples, he demonstrates the do’s and don’ts of data visualization, the principles of visual perception, and how to make subjective style decisions around a chart’s design. Schwabish surveys more than eighty visualization types, from histograms to horizon charts, ridgeline plots to choropleth maps, and explains how each has its place in the visual toolkit. It might seem intimidating, but everyone can learn how to create compelling, effective data visualizations. This book will guide you as you define your audience and goals, choose the graph that best fits for your data, and clearly communicate your message….(More)”.
Memo by the Center for Democracy and Technology: “As schools respond to COVID-19 on their campuses, some have shared student information with state and local health agencies, often to aid in contact tracing or to provide services to students. Federal and state student privacy laws, however, do not necessarily permit that sharing, and schools should seek to protect both student health and student privacy.
How Are Schools Sharing COVID-Related Student Data?
When it comes to sharing student data, schools’ practices vary widely. For example, the New York City Department of Education provides a consent form for sharing COVID-related student data. Other schools do not have consent forms, but instead, share COVID-related data as required by local or state health agencies. For instance, Orange County Public Schools in Florida assists the local health agency in contact tracing by collecting information such as students’ names and dates of birth. Some districts, such as the Dallas Independent School District in Texas, report positive cases to the county, but do not publicly specify what information is reported. Many schools, however, do not publicly disclose their collection and sharing of COVID-related student data….(More)”
Book by on “How Tech Companies Are Profiling Us from before Birth…Our families are being turned into data, as the digital traces we leave are shared, sold, and commodified. Children are datafied even before birth, with pregnancy apps and social media postings, and then tracked through childhood with learning apps, smart home devices, and medical records. In Child Data Citizen, Veronica Barassi examines the construction of children into data subjects, describing how their personal information is collected, archived, sold, and aggregated into unique profiles that can follow them across a lifetime. Children today are the very first generation of citizens to be datafied from before birth, and Barassi points to critical implications for our democratic futures.
Barassi draws on a three-year research project with parents in London and Los Angeles, which included the collection of fifty in-depth interviews, a digital ethnography of “sharenting” activities on social media by eight families over the course of eight months, and a two-year exploration of the datafication of her own family. She complements her ethnographic findings with a platform analysis of four social media platforms, ten health tracking apps, four home hubs, and four educational platforms, investigating the privacy policies, business models, and patent applications that enable the mining of children’s data. Barassi considers the implications of building a society where data traces are made to speak for and about citizens across a lifetime. What should we do when we realize that the narratives that algorithms construct about individuals are inaccurate and biased?…(More)”.
Report by UNICEF and United Nations University (UNU-EGOV): “Digital technologies continue to change the dynamics of our economies and societies and, in so doing, have the potential to alter the character of modern government permanently. The ‘digital revolution’ has come with the promise of improved governance and more inclusive and responsive service delivery and there are now many public websites, digital platforms and applications through which governments inform and assist citizens using information and communication technologies (ICT).
A central tenet of the transition to e-government is the digitization of public health, education, social and identity management services offered by national and local governments. Digitization in these areas is undertaken to expand service access to the public and, in particular, to traditionally underserved groups. The 2020 United Nations E-Government Development Index finds that 80 per cent of 193 United Nations (UN) Member States now offer some digital content or online services for youth, women, older people, persons with disabilities, migrants and/or those living in poverty.
While these services are increasingly common in the 21st century, they have become essential during the global COVID-19 pandemic — not least, for children and families. Amidst the digital transformation of government, technology has an increasing impact on a child’s ability to enjoy the benefits of public health care, education and welfare initiatives, and the COVID-19 pandemic has now brought the potential — and challenges — of digital services for children to the fore of policy planning discussions. As a result of school closures in over 190 countries and the suspension of many vital face-to-face services, more than two-thirds of countries have introduced a national online learning platform for children during the pandemic, leading to a re-examination of the efficacy of these services for continuity of learning.
Despite this, there is surprisingly little systematic exploration of the discourse and practices that ensure that
e-government services can advance and protect the rights of children and young people…(More)”.
Paper by Nicolás Gonzálvez-Gallego and Laura Nieto-Torrejón: “Scholars and policy makers are giving increasing attention to how young people are involved in politics and their confidence in the current democratic system. In a context of a global trust crisis in the European Union, this paper examines if open government data, a promising governance strategy, may help to boost Millennials’ and Generation Z trust in public institutions and satisfaction with public outcomes. First, results from our preliminary analysis challenge some popular beliefs by revealing that younger generations tend to trust in their institutions notably more than the rest of the European citizens. In addition, our findings show that open government data is a trust-enabler for Millennials and Generation Z, not only through a direct link between both, but also thanks to the mediator role of citizens’ satisfaction. Accordingly, public officers are encouraged to spread the implementation of open data strategies as a way to improve younger generations’ attachment to democratic institutions….(More)”.
Hunton’s Privacy Blog: “On December 22, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation that temporarily bans the use or purchase of facial recognition and other biometric identifying technology in public and private schools until at least July 1, 2022. The legislation also directs the New York Commissioner of Education (the “Commissioner”) to conduct a study on whether this technology is appropriate for use in schools.
In his press statement, Governor Cuomo indicated that the legislation comes after concerns were raised about potential risks to students, including issues surrounding misidentification by the technology as well as safety, security and privacy concerns. “This legislation requires state education policymakers to take a step back, consult with experts and address privacy issues before determining whether any kind of biometric identifying technology can be brought into New York’s schools. The safety and security of our children is vital to every parent, and whether to use this technology is not a decision to be made lightly,” the Governor explained.
Key elements of the legislation include:
- Defining “facial recognition” as “any tool using an automated or semi-automated process that assists in uniquely identifying or verifying a person by comparing and analyzing patterns based on the person’s face,” and “biometric identifying technology” as “any tool using an automated or semi-automated process that assists in verifying a person’s identity based on a person’s biometric information”;
- Prohibiting the purchase and use of facial recognition and other biometric identifying technology in all public and private elementary and secondary schools until July 1, 2022, or until the Commissioner authorizes the purchase and use of such technology, whichever occurs later; and
- Directing the Commissioner, in consultation with New York’s Office of Information Technology, Division of Criminal Justice Services, Education Department’s Chief Privacy Officer and other stakeholders, to conduct a study and make recommendations as to the circumstances in which facial recognition and other biometric identifying technology is appropriate for use in schools and what restrictions and guidelines should be enacted to protect privacy, civil rights and civil liberties interests….(More)”.
Paper by Heather McKay, Sara Haviland, and Suzanne Michael: “There is increasing interest in sharing data across agencies and even between states that was once siloed in separate agencies. Driving this is a need to better understand how people experience education and work, and their pathways through each. A data-sharing approach offers many possible advantages, allowing states to leverage pre-existing data systems to conduct increasingly sophisticated and complete analyses. However, information sharing across state organizations presents a series of complex challenges, one of which is the central role trust plays in building successful data-sharing systems. Trust building between organizations is therefore crucial to ensuring project success.
This brief examines the process of building trust within the context of the development and implementation of the Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange (MLDE). The brief is based on research and evaluation activities conducted by Rutgers’ Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) over the past five years, which included 40 interviews with state leaders and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) staff, observations of user group meetings, surveys, and MLDE document analysis. It is one in a series of MLDE briefs developed by EERC….(More)”.
Blog by the Annie E. Casey Foundation: “Advanced data analytics are deeply embedded in the operations of public and private institutions and shape the opportunities available to youth and families. Whether these tools benefit or harm communities depends on their design, use and oversight, according to a report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Four Principles to Make Advanced Data Analytics Work for Children and Families examines the growing field of advanced data analytics and offers guidance to steer the use of big data in social programs and policy….
The Foundation report identifies four principles — complete with examples and recommendations — to help steer the growing field of data science in the right direction.
Four Principles for Data Tools
- Expand opportunity for children and families. Most established uses of advanced analytics in education, social services and criminal justice focus on problems facing youth and families. Promising uses of advanced analytics go beyond mitigating harm and help to identify so-called odds beaters and new opportunities for youth.
- Example: The Children’s Data Network at the University of Southern California is helping the state’s departments of education and social services explore why some students succeed despite negative experiences and what protective factors merit more investment.
- Recommendation: Government and its philanthropic partners need to test if novel data science applications can create new insights and when it’s best to apply them.
- Provide transparency and evidence. Advanced analytical tools must earn and maintain a social license to operate. The public has a right to know what decisions these tools are informing or automating, how they have been independently validated, and who is accountable for answering and addressing concerns about how they work.
- Recommendations: Local and state task forces can be excellent laboratories for testing how to engage youth and communities in discussions about advanced analytics applications and the policy frameworks needed to regulate their use. In addition, public and private funders should avoid supporting private algorithms whose design and performance are shielded by trade secrecy claims. Instead, they should fund and promote efforts to develop, evaluate and adapt transparent and effective models.
- Empower communities. The field of advanced data analytics often treats children and families as clients, patients and consumers. Put to better use, these same tools can help elucidate and reform the systems acting upon children and families. For this shift to occur, institutions must focus analyses and risk assessments on structural barriers to opportunity rather than individual profiles.
- Recommendation: In debates about the use of data science, greater investment is needed to amplify the voices of youth and their communities.
- Promote equitable outcomes. Useful advanced analytics tools should promote more equitable outcomes for historically disadvantaged groups. New investments in advanced analytics are only worthwhile if they aim to correct the well-documented bias embedded in existing models.
- Recommendations: Advanced analytical tools should only be introduced when they reduce the opportunity deficit for disadvantaged groups — a move that will take organizing and advocacy to establish and new policy development to institutionalize. Philanthropy and government also have roles to play in helping communities test and improve tools and examples that already exist….(More)”.
Book by Juan Enriquez: “Most people have a strong sense of right and wrong, and they aren’t shy about expressing their opinions. But when we take a polarizing stand on something we regard as an eternal truth, we often forget that ethics evolve over time. Many shifts in the right versus wrong pendulum are driven by advances in technology. Our great-grandparents might be shocked by in vitro fertilization; our great-grandchildren might be shocked by the messiness of pregnancy, childbirth, and unedited genes. In Right/Wrong, Juan Enriquez reflects on what happens to our ethics as technology makes the once unimaginable a commonplace occurrence.
Evolving technology changes ethics. Enriquez points out that, contrary to common wisdom, technology often enables more ethical behaviors. Technology challenges old beliefs and upends institutions that do not grow and change. With wit and compassion, Enriquez takes on a series of technology-influenced ethical dilemmas, from sexual liberation to climate change to the “immortality” of mistakes on social media. (“Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google are electronic tattoos.”) He cautions us to judge those who “should have known better,” given today’s vantage point, with less fury and more compassion. We need a quality often absent in today’s charged debates: humility. Judge those in the past as we hope to be judged in the future….(More)”.
Paper by Katerina Zdravkova: “Crowdsourcing has become a fruitful solution for many activities, promoting the joined power of the masses. Although not formally recognised as an educational model, the first steps towards embracing crowdsourcing as a form of formal learning and teaching have recently emerged. Before taking a dramatic step forward, it should be estimated whether it is feasible, sustainable and socially responsible.
A nice initiative, which intends to set a groundwork for responsible research and innovation and actively implement crowdsourcing for language learning of all citizens regardless of their diversified social, educational, and linguistic backgrounds is enetCollect.
In order to achieve these goals, a sound framework that embraces the ethical and legal considerations should be established. The framework is intended for all the current and prospective creators of crowd-oriented educational systems. It incorporates the ethical issues affecting the three stakeholders: collaborative content creators, prospective users, as well as the institutions intending to implement the approach for educational purposes. The proposed framework offers a practical solution intending to overcome the revealed barriers, which might increase the risk of compromising its main educational goals. If carefully designed and implemented, crowdsourcing might become a very helpful, and at the same time, a very reliable educational model….(More)”.