Editor: Tim Davies
Everyone has an opinion on education. From schools and colleges, apprenticeships and degrees, to libraries and museums, we all have insights and experience when it comes to education services. And on just about every aspect of education you will find a wealth of information and statistics. Whether you are looking to make a choice of schools near where you live; or to get a national picture of education spending, open data can help you zoom-out to get an overview, and zoom-in to the specifics. More
Everyone has an opinion on education. From schools and colleges, apprenticeships and degrees, to libraries and museums, we all have insights and experience when it comes to education services. And on just about every aspect of education you will find a wealth of information and statistics. Whether you are looking to make a choice of schools near where you live; or to get a national picture of education spending, open data can help you zoom-out to get an overview, and zoom-in to the specifics. Official statistics on education abound: and open up the possibility for all sorts of analysis and action. Engaging in a school admission appeal armed with data on appeal success rates in other areas can boost your confidence; looking at the educational attainment rates and specific education needs in different wards can help charities and social enterprises to target services for young people; and checking out the demographics of areas threatened with the loss of services like libraries and museums can help you build a case for maintaing investment or pursuing innovation in how services are provided. Sites like Schooloscope.com show what can be done when different datasets are brought together to help people make informed choices at a local level - but you don’t need to have a team of designers and £100,000 of investment to use education data to make a difference. Whatever your education question or cause, this section aims to inspire you to explore how data can help. Show less ^
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The V Inspired Android app takes volunteering data and makes it accessible from a mobile phone interface on iPhone, Android and Blackberry - allowing young people to find volunteering opportunities near them.
Data.gov.uk discusses the School Scout application using education data to create a customisable league table listing of schools - including private and state schools.
How much money should a school hold in reserves? School governor Feargal Hogan looks at the data to ask how revenue balances affect school performance.
Southampton has raised the bar for linked data publishing by Universities with a substantial linked and open data portal just launched. The site allows you to browse data from the University, from phonebook entries, to courses and locations. The apps directory shows what people have already built with the data. The focus is on RDF and Linked Data, so there can be a bit of a learning curve to use the data, but fortunately, at the bottom of each page you will find a link to the queries used to get hold of the data.
Schooloscope takes a wealth of education statistics and turns them into simple visuals and plain english, helping you explore school standards at a glance. A great example of information design making complex information more accessible; but equally, only one interpretation of the data.
Kit Walace uses data from the Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) and population data to find out which town has the highest proportion of students. It’s Milton Keynes apparently.
Linked data on courses, podcasts and research from the Open University. Similar linked data sites are in development at a number of other universities. How could data on open learning objects and opportunities support access to education?
This discussion on GetTheData.org highlights some key sources of data to support campaigns around local library closures. Also worth checking out is the Guardian’s crowd-sourced map of library-day protests (http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/save-our-libraries-protests).
From league tables to literacy; global education rankings, to elitism at Oxbridge. The Guardian data store curates a mix of government data and data from other sources and includes data for download. Great for finding inspiration on approaches to analyse open data.
Another linked data exploration from Tony Hirst, combining data about traffic monitoring points with school locations.
Local authority webmaster Stuart Harrison has taken advantage of national education datasets to include school information on his authorities website, even though schools are the responsibility of the county. Find out more about how open data can help authorities provide information to citizens all in one place.
Using linked data from EduBase, and a little Yahoo Pipes magic, Tony Hirst takes a look at schools opening and closing in the UK in 2008/2009.
Tim Davies is an action-researcher and independent consultant working at the intersection…
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