Open Data for education in Brazil

Last fall, as a follow-up of my participation to CONSEGI 2011 in Brasilia, and in the context of my Open Data for Education proposal, I asked several Brazilian teachers to share if and how they were using Open Data to teach. These are, in no particular order, the first answers I got. I hope they will stimulate more contacts and exchange of experiences and best practices in this field, among them, and all other teachers worldwide who are interested in this topic. Please let me know of any development and/or similar activities. I look forward to do more research, evangelization, popularization and support in the “Open Data <-> Education” field.

Alexandre Gomes: Open{Gov,Data} and Education are subjects of my great interest. Here are some of my talks. A third subject I’m very interested on is entrepreneurship and, more recently, the startup buzz, where I’m engaged on the development, in Brasilia, of a startup ecosystem around public data. I teach (among other things) web development. Usually, I ask students to create apps using Open (Gov) Data. Each class produces about 20 small apps. And, as long as most of the students are public officials, they use to spread their open data ideas in their work environment (public departments, ministries and agencies), fostering the conversation about how to publish public data and how to build new services with them.

(added on March 2nd, 2013): and here are some (very simple) apps Gomes’ students created in 2010, using public (not so open) data:

Carlos Denner: professor at the University of Brasilia, using “Open” Data (mostly, Free and Open Source Projects data) on business and management researches: Open Data gets into my work research-wise mostly. I gather data from websites using crawlers and organize them to test theories about strategy and management. One of my papers can be seen here, another here. In the future though, I might start my own open data repository as a research program. Looking for collaborators.

Roberto Pinho, PhD. Professor and Technical Advisor of Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation and a data enthusiast: besides a personal interest in open data, the subject is linked to my professional interest in different ways:

  • I work on producing and compiling official statistics on Research and Development (R&D). The availability of open data is something that may improve the quality of the work we do here at the ministry. The very purpose of our unit is to share knowledge in the form of statistics so an open data mentality is already part of the job we do;

  • My academic research is focused in information visualization, which has obvious linkages to open data. This and this journal articles cover most of what I have done:

  • I teach Data Mining at an MBA. I point students towards open data sources. They are, however, free to choose their data sets and they mostly choose data sets from their everyday work experience. I intend to redo the course this year to be more example oriented. I will mostly use open data sources on building these examples

  • Besides traditional data mining repositories like the UCI’s, I usually point to these sources: