​Resource: Project Unicorn Interoperability

Personalized Learning

​Resource: Project Unicorn Interoperability

Oct 28, 2017

​Resource: Project Unicorn Interoperability

This article is part of the guide The Personalized Learning Toolkit.

Project Unicorn is an advocacy initiative focused on improving data interoperability within K-12 education. It strives to make the broader case for secure interoperability for students and school system. As the project notes: “People in school districts who procure and support data tools and the vendors who create and sell them must have a common language to discuss requirements and solutions and objectively evaluate their tools’ capabilities. It is impossible to solve a problem if you can’t define the problem clearly.”

Or as the Hechinger Report noted: “Educators, students, policy makers and the public must be able to understand and use the data. Many schools struggle with this, according to a report published late last year from the Data Quality Campaign, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for more effective use of educational data. The organization’s review of all 50 states found complicated data files being published without any context or attempt at making sense of it all.”

Among the resources it provide: an evolving rubric of what data interoperability can be put into place. For instance: The rubric seeks to define four levels of interoperability for different types of data. At a simple level, “Data Quality” means having linguistic student identifiers such as first and last name. At a more sophisticated level, systems should have the ability to integrate or import unique student identifiers such as those used by student information systems.

Project Unicorn is an education advocacy initiative that got started in May 2017; so far, some 200 school systems, representing 2 million students, have signed on to support the effort. (Both Digital Promise and EdSurge are supporters). It also offers a selection of case studies that look at real applications of interoperability.

Data Quality Campaign

Project Unicorn is an advocacy initiative focused on improving data interoperability within K-12 education. It strives to make the broader case for secure interoperability for students and school system. As the project notes: “People in school districts who procure and support data tools and the vendors who create and sell them must have a common language to discuss requirements and solutions and objectively evaluate their tools’ capabilities. It is impossible to solve a problem if you can’t define the problem clearly.”

Or as the Hechinger Report noted: “Educators, students, policy makers and the public must be able to understand and use the data. Many schools struggle with this, according to a report published late last year from the Data Quality Campaign, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for more effective use of educational data. The organization’s review of all 50 states found complicated data files being published without any context or attempt at making sense of it all.”

Among the resources it provide: an evolving rubric of what data interoperability can be put into place. For instance: The rubric seeks to define four levels of interoperability for different types of data. At a simple level, “Data Quality” means having linguistic student identifiers such as first and last name. At a more sophisticated level, systems should have the ability to integrate or import unique student identifiers such as those used by student information systems.

Project Unicorn is an education advocacy initiative that got started in May 2017; so far, some 200 school systems, representing 2 million students, have signed on to support the effort. (Both Digital Promise and EdSurge are supporters). It also offers a selection of case studies that look at real applications of interoperability.

Data Quality Campaign

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