Treating Data as our Most Valuable Asset

3 Jan 2022

By: Elise Hawthorne

Time. Arguably, it is the most valuable commodity anyone could have. For educators, time can be a sparkling prize held just out of reach. The chasm between is filled with deadlines, test requirements, homework to edit, meetings to attend, lessons to plan, a dog to feed, family to care for, and a positive mindset to maintain. Whew. Many calming breaths are needed when addressing the issues educators continue to face today.

One of the ways my team at Project Unicorn seeks to eliminate the workload in the life of a teacher, and school administrators, is by sharing the importance of data interoperability. Interoperability is a term that, while technical, underlies many commonplace applications and conveniences. Whether it’s the Bluetooth connection between a headset and a phone, or the ability to withdraw cash from a local ATM while traveling, interoperability helps things work when we need them to. When it comes to student data, educators often spend valuable time transferring data from system to system to complete everyday tasks, such as the simple goal of taking attendance. They’re faced with hours of additional work because the edtech systems and platforms available do not communicate with each other or enable the secure and easy transfer of student information.

Whether it’s the Bluetooth connection between a headset and a phone, or the ability to withdraw cash from a local ATM while traveling, interoperability enables things to work when we need them to.

Elise Hawthorne

Schools districts can start tackling this problem by taking action,  such as by signing the Project Unicorn School Network pledge. This pledge was created by the 16 diverse organizations that make up the Project Unicorn Steering Committee, which is invested in furthering the use of data interoperability. Signing the free pledge signals a district’s commitment to securing and leveraging interoperable data to improve student learning. Pledge signatories can access resources, technical assistance, events, and scholarships to support technology selection and procurement.

Ultimately, the increased demand for interoperability drives the edtech ecosystem to implement better interoperability practices. Pledge signatories commit to prioritizing the secure access, privacy, and interoperability of their edtech products, which empowers educators and families to engage more deeply in their students’ education. Meanwhile, they will improve access to that most valuable educator asset: time.

Two tips to consider:

Don’t ignore the capacity needs of educators in their efforts to provide the best quality education to students across the country.

Prioritize your time by signing the Project Unicorn School Network pledge and begin your journey towards seamless, secure data management.

Elise Hawthorne is the Technical Support and Implementation Lead for Project Unicorn at InnovateEDU.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *