Conference paper
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‘Fake news’ is now embedded as an everyday term in the media. This has significant consequences for educational curricula.  In this paper, we explore the broader context of the misrepresentation of data and the critical thinking and discernment skills necessary to detect it. Increasing ubiquity of data sources and the growing prominence of big data are key developments alongside innovations in digital technology such as analytics for teaching and learning, virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence. Such innovations in technology are all promising for education; however, these innovations are all taking place within a context of a growing data-driven era. For two decades now, we have been hearing about ‘21st century skills’ and core competencies such as collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity together grouped with digital technology skills citizenship skills. When it comes to 'digital literacy' or 'digital literacies' there has been a moving feast of options and models. With all the eye-catching infographics and data visualization tools available we are needing to develop better discernment skills – spotting fake news and irresponsible reporting. In other words, we need skills in 'data literacy' and the key question we explore in this short paper is: in what ways can the k-12 curriculum be developed to scaffold data literacy? In contextualizing the problem, we provide a few examples of leading practice and suggest some directions to explore further.

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