Baking Interoperability Functions into Classroom Management Tools

In March 2018, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) began developing a framework and toolkit to give schools resources on how to make interoperability a key component of any IT system purchase. On Tuesday, CoSN made the last two resources in the toolkit available to the public—a guide for request for proposals and discussion tools to provide a starting point for conversations.

The guide recommends six items that school should consider when developing RFPs and evaluating bids:

  1. Provider has signed and adheres to the Future of Privacy Forum and SIIA Student Privacy Pledge.
  2. Provider adheres to common industry interoperability standards used by your district.
  3. Provider has signed the Project Unicorn EdTech Vendor Pledge.
  4. Moving data from one system to another does NOT require manual data entry or ETL (Extract, Transform, Load).
  5. Provider has automated processes in place to ensure data accuracy and integrity and flags for manual data-cleansing.
  6. Core school data should be stored in a CEDS-aligned format and exportable to a standardized format that is aligned to CEDS.

The discussion tools include a flyer and PowerPoint presentation that schools can use to facilitate early conversations to identify their interoperability needs. The slides include talking points with relevant statistics, graphics and cost considerations.

"Achieving interoperability can be a complicated process for school districts. It's important to reduce that impediment and not discourage the use of e-learning technologies. The complete Interoperability Toolkit gives ed tech leaders a full range of resources to leverage in one convenient space," said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger.

The complete toolkit also features a self-assessment quiz for districts to determine system maturity, a cost calculator, interoperability standards and four case studies.

All of the interoperability resources can be found on CoSN's website.  

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

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