The conference begins tomorrow!

4T Data Literacy Conference | July 20-21, 2017

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The conference kicks off tomorrow!

We're delighted that you'll be joining us tomorrow next week for the 4T Data Literacy Conference. if you cannot join us live, we'll send you links to the archived sessions in a future message..

A couple of quick heads-up before then:

  • Laptops or desktops recommended! We'll be switching over to the Zoom platform this year. While Zoom does have apps for Android and iPhone, some of the tools we will be using during the webinars are not mobile-friendly. For the best conference experience, we recommend using a laptop or desktop computer to access the conference in lieu of a mobile device.

  • Need free continuing education credits for Michigan K-12 educators or a low-cost certificate for other attendees? Click here to learn what is available. We appreciate your understanding that we will not accommodate other requests for verification (e.g., letters to administrators, attendees, school districts, or personnel files; completion of school, district, or state paperwork; etc.).

  • Who do you teach? We've been looking at your registration data, and this year's participants are all over the map! This week's sessions focus on how data is impacting all of us in everyday life, so we think there's benefit for folks from all walks of life. Just a gentle reminder, though, that this conference's primary goal is to build the data literacy capacity of high school librarians and educators. (We still think those from other backgrounds can benefit, though! We see these concepts as important across grade levels!)

Links to Thursday sessions

We've got four sessions tomorrow. Click on the links below to join us! We've got plenty of room for everyone, so you don't even need to arrive early!

noon - 1pm Eastern
Justin Schell, University of Michigan Library's Shapiro Design Lab
Schell will discuss the origins and continued efforts of the DataRefuge movement. Born out of fears of widespread removal of environmental and other governmental data that citizens and corporations alike rely on, DataRefuge has assisted in coordinating more than 40 “Data Rescue” events, bringing together librarians, developers, scientists, archivists, and other concerned citizens to archive a variety of federal data. The project has evolved into a multi-field conversation about the importance, and uneven vulnerability of, data. One of the main lessons of this project is the variety of ways that people can get involved in such preservation efforts. Schell will discuss a number of ways that participants and their students can assist in the project.
Moderator: Jo Angela Oehrli
Session Link: (requires free registration)
Evaluation Link:

1:15 – 2:15pm Eastern

Tools for Preserving Your Personal and Intellectual Privacy

Wendy Stephens, Jacksonville State University
Have you ever searched for something out of idle curiosity only to have targeted advertisements follow you around online? How can you combat the ever-increasing number of corporate entities looking to scrap your (and your students) online browsing information? This session will explore a range of tools to preserve your privacy, including TOR, Ghostery, DuckDuckGo, StartPage, and HTTPS Everywhere, with practical and low-effort options for preserving your personal privacy while maintaining the spirit of inquiry.
Moderator: Jo Angela Oehrli
Session Link: (requires free registration)
Evaluation Link:

2:30 - 3:30pm Eastern
The Right to Obscurity vs. The Digital Eye of Sauron
Susan D. Ballard, Granite State College
In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the Eye of Sauron, was able to surveille the unsuspecting inhabitants of Middle Earth and using the information he gathered, subject them to his will. As we learned, it was left to Hobbits -rather shy, retiring sorts - to finally set things right and thwart his evil intentions! This session will focus on the how the use of data has made it almost impossible for the average person to maintain a low profile in a high tech world. While we value the ability to connect with friends and colleagues via social media and use eCommerce with increasing regularity, do we want those interactions and transactions monitored, collected and used to scrutinize and manipulate our lives? Conversely, has the ability for us to also easily access data and information about others turned us into opportunists who “hack” into other people's personal spaces, or even worse, do we exhibit voyeuristic tendencies and a lack of empathy for others by secretly invading their privacy. What would a hobbit do? We’ll discuss strategies to guard your right to obscurity and be more understanding of the need to appreciate this right for others, too.
Moderator: Jo Angela Oehrli
Session Link: (requires free registration)
Evaluation Link:

3:45 - 4:45pm Eastern

Using Social Explorer to Help Students Gain Insight
Justin Joque, University of Michigan Library
Helping students gain context for data can be a challenge. But, which has both free and paid features, can unlock insights by mapping data to a U.S. Map. There's nothing to download -- the project is browser-based. Because it has many historical data sets from the U.S. Census and similar sources, and a variety of styles for visualizing data, students spend less time tinkering and more time analyzing data. We will cover both how to export tables and create maps using the built in tools in Social Explorer. We will pay especially close attention to the visualization and mapping options and discuss possible ways to integrate Social Explorer into assignments. Come learn some strategies from U-M's data visualization librarian for how you can use this tool to scaffold students' data explorations and reveal new insights.
Moderator: Jo Angela Oehrli
Session Link: (requires free registration)
Evaluation Link:


Behind the scenes, we've been working on two books to help high school librarians and educators become more fluent in issues related to data literacy. These titles will eventually be available as PDFs on our website, in a machine-readable version for those with accessibility needs, as an Amazon Kindle eBook, or as a print-on-demand title.

Book one, Creating Data Literate Students, is now available in PDF form here. Other formats are coming by Fall 2017! This title features chapters in which expert educators unpack nuanced strategies for understanding, discussing, and working with data, statistics, visualizations, infographics, and more at the high school level.

Book two, Data Literacy in the Real World: Conversations and Case Studies, will be available in multiple formats in Fall 2017. This book is designed as a professional learning reference with some components that can also be used directly with high school students. In Part I, we bring the experts to you, providing plug-and-play PD via high-quality archived webinars from the 2016 and 2017 4T Virtual Conference on Data along with discussion questions and hands-on activities. In Part II, we share over 40 case studies about data literacy in the real world. With issues drawn from the headlines, these case studies can serve either as PD with colleagues or as classroom conversations.



You can reach our University of Michigan team at .

The 4T Virtual Conference on Data Literacy is a satellite conference of the 4T Virtual Conference led by the U-M Schools of Education and Information. This conference is a project of the University of Michigan School of Information and the U-M Library. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of​ Museum and Library Services RE-00-15-0113-15.

Register here!