Networks have become increasingly relevant to everyday life as human society has become increasingly connected. Attaining a basic understanding of networks has thus become a necessary form of literacy for people (and for youths in particular). At the NetSci 2014 conference, we initiated a year-long process to develop an educational resource that concisely summarizes essential concepts about networks that can be used by anyone of school age or older. The process involved several brainstorming sessions on one key question: 'What should every person living in the 21st century know about networks by the time he/she finishes secondary education?' Different sessions reached diverse participants, which included professional researchers in network science, educators and high-school students. The generated ideas were connected by the students to construct a concept network. We examined community structure in the concept network to group ideas into a set of important themes, which we refined through discussion into seven essential concepts. The students played a major role in this development process by providing insights and perspectives that were often unrecognized by researchers and educators. The final result, 'Network Literacy: Essential Concepts and Core Ideas', is now available as a booklet in several different languages from http://tinyurl.com/networkliteracy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Control and Optimization
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Computational Mathematics
- Applied Mathematics