Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference, CSCL




Springer New York LLC

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



Making sense of data to inform decisions is an important skill emphasized in current curriculum documents (NRC, 2012). Making sense of data through personal experiences and prior knowledge is one way that students can begin to understand multiple and unfamiliar data sources. This paper examines how middle school students used different data sources when engaged in a collaborative problem solving activity using a multi-touch table during classroom science instruction. In this study, we found that students made personal connections when talking about data. Students engaged in data talk across all conversation quality levels, but the ways students interacted and talked about data varied. Connecting to students’ everyday experiences could provide an access point for more complex science content understanding and synthesis and improve student data literacy skills.



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