Data interoperability. A growing number of advocates argue that it’s critically important for schools — and not as scary as it sounds.
Today’s classrooms generate reams of data. It comes from a wide range of education technology products, assessments and other sources — there’s data from reading programs, math programs, state tests, daily quizzes, student history and more, each one a single puzzle piece that could be linked to other pieces to create a unified picture, but that, more often than not, stands alone.
Sometimes this data stands alone because it’s in such a different format that it can’t be understood in concert with data from other platforms. To mix metaphors, it’s as if one system’s data is in Spanish, another system’s data is in Mandarin and English-speaking educators who want to gain insights from the combination of the two must jump through the hoops of translation before being able to understand anything.
With data interoperability, the data would all exist in the same language and the puzzle would get put together automatically. Right now, in most schools, that’s just a dream.
And here’s why it’s a problem: When Providence’s teachers meet in teams to discuss student progress, they sit around tables with their laptops, logging into various systems, looking at PDF reports that show student performance data. One question can be answered by data in one system, another needs a log-in to a different system. It takes time. And it takes away from productive conversation.
Read the full article about how data interoperability would improve classroom innovation by Tara Garcia Mathewson at The Hechinger Report.
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