Published June 7, 2019 | Version v1
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A Critically Commented Guide to Data Literacy Tools


  • 1. Center for Advanced Internet Studies / Cardiff University


In recent years, the phenomenon of ‘big data’ has become increasingly relevant and the influence of data-driven processes on virtually all areas of personal, societal, political and economic life is increasing continuously. In this move towards a ‘datafied society’, there is a pressing need for an informed public debate about the impacts of big data systems. However, internet users are often unaware of the potential consequences of disclosing personal data online and few citizens have the knowledge to participate in such debates. This lack of knowledge and understanding is a problem because these practices are not as neutral as often portrayed but pose risks not only to individual privacy but also to our democratic societies.

I suggest one way to address people’s lacking knowledge of big data practices is through fostering critical big data literacy – internet users’ awareness, understanding and critical reflection of big data collection practices, data uses and the possible risks and implications that come with these practices, as well as their ability to implement this knowledge for a more responsible internet usage.

In this critically commented guide, I present a large amount and variety of educational online resources about big data that were identified in my prior study (see also The collection will be continuously extended in the future and addresses practitioners from various fields who aim to educate their different target audiences about big data systems as well as just anyone interested in learning more about the collection, use and analysis of their data online.

The tools are structured along 15 different design and content approaches that were identified. Based on my prior findings, this guide will also provide a brief assessment of each tool’s content, design and suitability for different purposes of teaching data literacy.


Sander 2019 - A Critically Commented Guide to Data Literacy Tools.pdf

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