On March 16, 2015, I will host a workshop in Saint Paul, Minnesota that introduces social workers to thinking about ethics and data. As with last year, I decided to make the materials for this workshop open to anyone who wants them.
I believe we do a lot more learning when we create knowledge with other people than when we are told things by a single supposed expert. Further, there isn’t a lot of writing in the arena of big data and ethics in social services. So, I decided to replicate some past experiments and ask participants do some reading and processing on their own toward the beginning of the workshop (we aren’t allowed to provide pre-workshop materials), and then to share their learning with the rest of the group. I think this will be a much better way “in” to some of the concepts in this workshop that might be difficult because much of the language will be new to social workers. So we’ll do a jigsaw. Participants will enter the room and have the sets of articles below available to them to browse. Hopefully I can convince people to choose diversely between these areas. Then we can process these ideas together.
What I wrote last August still rings true:
My hope for the workshop is to invite people into what Ilene Alexander calls being a liminal participant – someone in an in-between state, about to move in one direction or the other into new knowledge and understanding. I think many of us in Social Work and Social Services have learned to be intimidated by technology, [and especially by “data”]. It’s “too much” when there are so many other important issues to consider. Whether we like it or not, it’s moving in ways that we can’t ignore (and shouldn’t have been). For our benefit and that of those we serve, we need to get past our defenses and sense of intimidation. At least to start, to move into a space where learning is possible. I get to do a post-assessment for the workshop. I’m considering whether I can do a pre- and post-assessment that will give me clues toward threshold concepts for learning about [big data in social work]. Knowing these threshold concepts would help plan future workshops.
Without further delay, here’s the list. Several of these resources come from a phenomenal list at Santa Clara University.
- Big Data for Social Innovation (print / web)
- How Can Big Data be Used for Social Good? (print / web)
- Getting Big Data to the Good Guys (print / web)
- Big Data is Our Generation’s Civil Rights Issue and We Don’t Know It (print / web)
- Punished for Being Poor: The Problem with Using Big Data in the Criminal Justice System (print / web)
- So What is Big Data Good for Anyway? (print / web)
- Bigger Better Data and Resilience: What’s the Link? (print / web)
- Is Big Data Spreading Inequality? (web)
- How Big Data Could Undo our Civil Rights Laws? (print / web)
- What’s up with Big Data Ethics? and Big Data Ethics Sound Great, but They Won’t Stop the NSA, or Facebook (print / web)
- Big Data: Are we making a big mistake? (print / web)
- Big data from the bottom up (print / web)
- Big Data’s Impact on Social Services (print / web)
- Injustice In, Injustice Out: Social Privilege in the Creation of Data (print / web)
- Big Data and Its Exclusions (print / web)
- Big Data Sentences Could Undermine Fairness (print / web)
- Are We Rushing to Judgment About the Hidden Power of Algorithms? (print / web)
- Civil Rights Groups Respond to Allegations of Religious Profiling by the NSA and FBI (print / web)
- The Hidden Biases in Big Data (print / web)
- How Big Data is Unfair: Understanding sources of unfairness in data driven decision making (print / web)
- Big Data and the Underground Railroad (print / web)
- The Chilling Implications of Democratizing Big Data (print / web)
What resources do you have to recommend? Any major areas you think should be here?
Highlighted Projects in Big, Linked, and Open Data
Image Credit: Data vs. Spock, JD Hancock, CC-BY
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