I can say with confidence that the Ed-Fi Summit & Bootcamp 2017 was one of the most beneficial conferences I’ve been to. Each session I attended presented information that either directly pertained to what my team and I at Volusia County Schools are currently working to accomplish, or what we aspire to.  The speakers were all knowledgeable in their topics, showcasing their expertise and captivating the audiences.

A unique and refreshing part of the Summit was not only the fact that vendors were in attendance, but how they participated. Their main objective was not to sell anything, rather, they recognized Ed-Fi’s mission and simply wished to participate in the movement.

In speaking with other attendees, this seemed to be a mutual understanding: Ed-Fi didn’t bring us together to tout its products, as products can speak for themselves. Instead, we gathered as a community to collaborate on how we make data work better for our teachers and students, using products as guides along that path.

My greatest takeaway is the notion of the Alliance itself.  Out of all the tools Ed-Fi provides, develops, creates, or supports, the people are the most valuable resource to the community. I enjoyed listening to other implementers express their trials and tribulations of the platform and data standard – there is nothing better than talking with districts and states traveling the same road as yourself. It helps to know that we aren’t alone and can overcome hurdles together as a team. Ed-Fi helps build those bridges of communication and collaboration that make it such a successful platform, and the conference is just one of the many ways it works to accomplish this.

Jamie Martinez