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Shared Learning Collaborative Launches Nonprofit inBloom

The Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC) today launched inBloom, a nonprofit data integration and content search service for students and educators.

Highlights of inBloom include the open app-market framework, designed to enhance the ability of technology providers to develop and deploy products without having to build custom connections to each state and district data source. This means more developers will have the opportunity to create new education applications with lower implementation costs and faster time-to-market.

Twenty-one education technology companies have already announced plans to develop applications that will work with inBloom through the service's open API. Nine states, representing more than 11 million students, are participating in the development and pilot testing of the inBloom technology services.

Five states have already selected districts to be part of the pilot testing, including:

Educators assess increasing amounts of data and technology in multiple formats and the inBloom data integration and content search service is intended to connect them to systems and information that currently live in a variety of different places and formats, creating a disjointed system that makes it extremely hard for teachers to tailor instruction, curriculum, and learning approaches to meet the needs and aspirations of individual learners, according to an SLC release.

"Education technology and data need to work better together to fulfill their potential for students and teachers," said Iwan Streichenberger, CEO of inBloom, in a news release about the launch. "Until now, tackling this problem has often been too expensive for states and districts, but inBloom is easing that burden and ushering in a new era of personalized learning."

InBloom worked with its pilot states and districts and a panel of student privacy and security experts to create the policy that governs its handling of sensitive data. FERPA compliance has also been addressed throughout the design and ongoing operations of the services, according to the company.

InBloom is funded with initial philanthropic support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Shared Learning Collaborative is a partnership of states, districts, educators, foundations, and content and tool providers collaborating to create technology for education. The SLC developed all the inBloom software components and has worked with education technology companies and developers to encourage the development of inBloom-compatible applications.

For more information about inBloom, visit inbloom.org.

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at sportswryter@yahoo.com.

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