Elucidating Ed-Fi: Everybody wants data from emerging edtech products to play nice. Right now, it mostly doesn't. One effort to herd cats is the a proposed "Ed-Fi" data standard from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. If you are building a dashboard that includes the kind of data that schools collect for the state (from attendance records through state assessment results), you might want to take a peek here at Ed-Fi's XML schema. (Still down the road are interchange schemas to pull in data from other reporting programs.) Five states (Colo., Del., La., Tenn., Tex.) plan to use the standard beginning in spring 2012. Data management guru firm, eScholar, and Wireless Generation are promoting it. The foundation is planning a raft of Ed-Fi conference calls listed here, including one today (Aug 3) and another next week (Aug 10) at noon CT. Lori Fey, director of policy initiatives, particularly wants to hear from LMS and other platform vendors. Comments on the standards are welcome until August 31. The next milestone (Ed-Fi v1.0) is due in October.