Citizen Science and Data Literacy: An Interview with Monika Niederhuber and Urs Brändle


The upcoming EdMedia 2019 Conference will be held from June 24-28 in Amsterdam. The program contains six workshops as part of the conference. Workshops are a great way to explore a concept, technology or practice in depth, network with other participants and receive a mix of scholarly overview and practical advice. To highlight why you should attend a workshop or consider organizing one yourself, AACE Review features selected presenters in a series of interviews.

Monika Niederhuber and Urs Brändle are hosting a workshop on data literacy and citizen science. Their workshop will take place on Monday, June 24 from 9:30AM-1:00PM. The topic is timely: The 2017 Innovating Pedagogy Report from The Open University (OU) has identified Learners Making Science as as an ongoing medium impact trend. With the increasing importance of data in many areas of daily life, schools and universities face the challenge of imparting not only information technology, but also data literacy as one of the key future skills.

Citizen science projects can connect learners to the realm beyond the classroom, urging participants to develop STEM skills as needed in the context of the project. Being volunteer-led and intrinsically driven, citizen science could easily translate into approaches like inquiry-led learning, project-based learning and other student-centred approaches, that encourage students to follow their interests and passions.


We talked to the workshop organizers about reasons for attending EdMedia and the concept of their workshop ‘Fostering Data Literacy with Citizen Science Experiments’ In the interview for AACE Review, Monika Niederhuber and Urs Brandle explain what participants will learn in their workshop, and what methods they are planning on using.

Is this your first time at EdMedia? What are you most looking forward to at this conference?

Yes, first timer! I am very much looking forward to discuss with and being inspired by a broad variety of participants during talks, networking chats and our own workshop.

Why did you decide to submit a workshop proposal?

We think that our low threshold hands-on approach to data literacy through crowd sampling is worth sharing with educators from K12 to university.  

What key insights do you hope your participants will take away from your workshop?

Crowd sampling is an easy entry point to data literacy and concepts of datascience for both educators and students and can be a lot of fun!

What methods will you use during the workshop?

We will collect data on the distribution of a very typical Amsterdamer, do a graphical analysis on the data and then help the participants start their own experiment.  

Who should be coming to your workshop and why?

Everyone with an interest in hands-on experience GIS supported mobile experiments and how these may be used to activate students on field trips and to introduce them to data science in an engaging way.

Further information:

Read the blog post ‘Learners Making Science’ by Angela Brown for AACE Review (May 2018).

Connect with Monika and Urs on Academic Experts, the AACE conference community platform.

Find more research in LearnTechLib:

  • Bex, R., Lundgren, L. & Crippen, K. (2019). Usability and Usage of a Citizen Science App by Teachers and Students. In K. Graziano (Ed.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 954-962). Las Vegas, NV, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved June 7, 2019 from
  • Jungck, J.R. (2015). Citizen Science, Crowdsourcing, and Constructivist Pedagogy. In Proceedings of Global Learn Berlin 2015: Global Conference on Learning and Technology (pp. 374-379). Berlin, Germany: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved June 7, 2019 from



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