Module 3: Big Data and the Data Economy

Module 3: Big Data and the Data Economy

  • Core Concept

    This module introduces students to the topic of big data and gives an opportunity to explore how the data economy works. It aims to explore how and why online companies use personal information, the benefits it can bring and critique the ethical use of this information for profit.

  • Key Learning for Students

    Students will have an understanding of what personal data is and consider how it can be used by online companies. Students will explore how social media platforms and other internet sites are interconnected in a complex, networked system, to consider the opportunities and implications of these systems, and how they influence people’s actions.

  • Learning Outcomes

    DML Short Course:

    DML Short Course:

    Strand 3: Checking the facts. 

    3.2 analyse how the choice of digital media format influences the kind of information accessed/transmitted 

    3.5 research the ownership of major websites and its impact on access and choice

    3.6 give examples of how digital media texts can support citizenship and inform decision-making 

  • Cross curricular links

    SPHE Year 1 Influences and Decisions:

    SPHE Year 1 Influences and Decisions:

    • have a heightened awareness of who influences them, how, and why      

  • Resources needed

    • Small pieces of paper or Post-It notes
    • Big Data Explained Video available to watch here:
    • Ted Talk: Big Data is Better Data 
    • Worksheets: 3.1, 3.1A, 3.2, 3.3, 3.3A, 3.4

  • Methodologies

    Video analysis, discussion, reading comprehension, group work, group presentation, walking debate

  • Embedding digital technologies

    Schools with access to digital devices (e.g. tablets, laptops, phone) can capture students’ responses on relevant discussion activities using a variety of web-based tools (e.g. school’s VLE, Mentimeter, Flipgrid, etc). It would also be worthwhile asking students to take a screenshot of relevant tasks completed and save this in their own digital portfolio (folder) in the schools VLE as a record of their work throughout the course. Mind mapping tools can be used to capture and organise responses. Creative and graphic design tools can be used for the design activity.

  • Differentiating this module

    Depending on the nature of the student’s needs, there may be a need to have dedicated lessons prior to this lesson to decode and demystify the complex language surrounding the topic. Some students may find it difficult to access language such as data, inferred, generate, or artificial intelligence, pre-teaching of key vocabulary is recommended. (See Glossary – Appendix 4). Some students with general learning disabilities may struggle to access the animation due to the language and/or abstract nature. To enable these students to access the animation, provide an introduction to the animation, explaining the context and topic addressed.

    Significant scaffolding may need to occur to enable students with SEN to participate in the walking debate.


    Differentiated worksheets (‘a’ versions) are provided to assist students who may have slow processing or memory difficulties in figuring out the main points. Students with SEN may have difficulty reading aloud, avoid putting pressure on individual students to read aloud.

Download Worksheets and Resources

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