Ariel photograph
Credit: Nicholas Masterton

Applications are open for the Social Data School 2022, led by Cambridge Digital Humanities in association with the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy.

Now open for applications, the Social Data School 2022 (15-28 June 2022 online) is an online summer school structured around the life-cycle of a digital research project.

Commenting on the launch, Anne Alexander, Director of Learning at Cambridge Digital Humanities and co-organiser of the Social Data School 2022 said: “The Social Data School provides vital training in the investigative methods required to sift the deluge of digital data in today’s connected world.

“We also focus on helping participants develop their critical thinking and encourage networking and collaboration across our international cohort.”

Sessions will include live-taught instruction, demonstrations and discussions online, with access to self-paced study materials and support via email-based discussion groups between sessions.

The online format brings together people from the Americas to Asia, and the small class size and opportunities for one-on-one mentoring with the teaching team ensure that every participant has the chance to engage actively with our programme.

Hugo Leal, Research Associate at the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy, and a member of the Social Data School teaching team said: “I am thrilled to be co-organising another edition of the Social Data School. We want to take digital methods beyond academia and contribute to tackle some skill gaps affecting certain groups and regions.

“This year we are inviting again journalists, NGOs, CSOs, Unions, especially from the Global South, to join us online to discuss and try out digital methods,” he continued.

This year the Social Data School 2022 will focus on data visualisation and image investigations.

This includes sessions on how to extract data from multiple video and photographic sources to create spatial visualisations for forensic analysis and learn how computer vision algorithms are used to classify images and generate ‘deepfakes’.

The Social Data School 2022 will also explore how images can become places of inquiry and instruments of communication, and develop a critical toolkit for interrogating the image-based cultures of the digital age.

Hugo continued: “I think this opportunity is particularly attractive to people in media outlets and civil society organisations who cover conflicts or human rights emergencies and require more training in digital forensic investigations, social media data analysis, and good visualisation practices for effective reporting. ”

The data school welcomes applications from all backgrounds, including journalists, NGOs, activists, trade unionists and members of civil society organisations.

“We are committed to expanding access to the tools and methods we teach and offer heavily discounted rates and bursaries to many participants,” said Anne.

Applications are open until May 15, 2022.