Seamless data sharing, also known as data interoperability, is slowly getting recognized in K-12 schools. Currently, most digital tools and resources used in K-12 schools aren’t interoperable, which means they can’t easily share data.
So, suppose a teacher or administrator wants a full perspective of a student’s performance. In that case, they’ll have to manually export data from several systems and digital resources — each with their log-in — to a spreadsheet.
According to the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), students should have seamless access to different resources covering the same topic tailored to their educational requirements to achieve technology’s potential to improve education fully. Students and teachers should be able to access data dashboards in real-time to see what they’ve completed and what they still need to learn.
Learning would be adaptable, teaching would be data-driven, and everyone would be able to monitor how kids are progressing across all disciplines and content areas in a single glance. By the day’s end, “interoperability is basic to the promise of instructional technology.”
To achieve interoperability in K-12 education, four fundamental goals must be met.
Improving efficiency: Teachers and administrative personnel at many schools spend a significant amount of time filling out forms and entering the same data into several software systems. Much of the same student information, for example, is input independently into an ERP system, a student information system (SIS), a Custom learning management system (LMS), a transportation or health system, and so on.
If these systems were interoperable, schools might automatically utilize data integration engines to populate them with appropriate data. This would eliminate data entry errors across several systems and save staff substantial time. It might also save money, improve departmental teamwork, and help kids and families in the long run.
Increasing flexibility: Adopting open data standards will prevent schools from becoming bound into using a certain technological platform only to avoid losing their existing content or data. It would ensure that information and data would be accessible even if technology platforms changed over time.
Growing student success: Today, data from various apps live in separate, unconnected silos in most school systems. As a result, getting a complete picture of a student, including demographic data and performance across numerous classes and software programs, is a multi-step procedure. To begin, the administrator would need to export data from all of these different systems. The data must then be altered or cleansed to ensure that it is in the proper format. Finally, the information can be loaded into a dashboard or another analytics program. Many K-12 leaders are discouraged from attempting this procedure since it is demanding and time-consuming. As a result, instructors and administrators lack the knowledge necessary to comprehend a student’s demands and provide the essential support for that student’s success.
Driving continuous improvement: It’s difficult for K-12 leaders to compare data across various schools or departments to gain a bird’s-eye view of their operations when data is stored in separate silos. Interoperability can provide a greater awareness of school or district patterns and developments, just as it can help leaders obtain full insight into a specific student’s condition. This information can help drive continual improvement.
If you’re a K-12 school leader in Maryland or DC, Fortabyte Cyber Solutions can help you achieve data interoperability and unlock the full potential of your data. Send a message for a free consultation.