Last week I had the opportunity to attend the very first (hopefully of many!) Florida CODE Summit (FL CODE: the Florida Collaborative on Operational Data for Educators) hosted by the North East Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC). In this installment of my “Road Show Report,” I’d like to share a few resulting notes and learnings that I believe are important as we continue to work as a community in driving adoption of the data standard.

Our friends in the Florida CODE are doing great work with their established collaborative model and in their approach to bringing more districts and vendors in Florida onto the data standard and into the Ed-Fi Community. Dedicated community members are critical to our efforts in advancing K-12 education through effective use of data. NEFEC is one of many strong advocates that support that work and shared vision.

Three things that I took away from my time at the Summit and with our NEFEC community members:

  • From LEAs and ESCs to the Florida DoE, and from application vendors to system integrators, and many in between, we witnessed and interacted with a terrific cross section of solution-oriented leaders convened with the common goal of driving impact and improvement in teaching and learning through the power of integrated data. This diverse mix of attendees facilitated a better understanding of the unique perspectives and different roles involved in driving Ed-Fi adoption to benefit all learners.
  • I also heard firsthand from Florida guidance counselors what they really need to help students succeed and graduate. They mentioned more efficient and easier access to comprehensive data to give them a more holistic picture of their students, so they can see how students are progressing towards graduation plans that lead them towards college and career readiness.
  • And, what was most compelling to me was the overall power of community. This was expressed by starting with a data standard as a common language and framework, and then engaging with and learning from peers and other practitioners as we plan and undertake our various implementations. Ongoing community-driven conversations and peer-to-peer mentoring serves as a powerful support system for all of us, whether we come from LEAs, SEAs, service centers, collaboratives, or our partners and vendors. The standard, the technologies, and the expertise and collective wisdom are at our fingertips in the Ed-Fi Community, and they are changing the field of education for the better.

In this ever-changing landscape, our community works tirelessly to evolve our approach and the standard to fit the needs of educators. Continued innovation depends upon the thoughtful and invaluable feedback we receive at events like this.

I look forward to connecting with even more of you out in the field or at conferences like FL CODE this year to see firsthand our community at work. Catch you on the road soon!