The Ed-Fi Technical Congress is approaching! This year’s event will take place in Phoenix, AZ from April 11-13, and we hope that you will join us there for this important annual community event.

This year’s event will resemble last year’s in several key ways, but also represents an evolution of the format. Below are some of the things we carry over from last year, and some ways the event format will expand its scope.

Continuing from Last Year…

Look for the same direct, frank input into community technology planning. At the 2017 Technical Congress we received great feedback on the roadmap, and primary among that feedback was the community’s messages about how long ecosystem readiness takes for breaking changes to data exchange models and APIs (you may recall that conclusion from our 2017 post-event blog). That feedback went directly into our roadmap and led to major changes – look for more of the same this year.

Get ready for hands-on, in-the-weeds discussion and ideation. While the Technical Congress covers big themes, it is also a place to call out small details and issues that matter. Small group discussions and workgroups offer a place to hash out these details, and this year’s event will continue to offer a forum that values both the large scale feedback, and the roll-up-your-sleeves engagement with technical design and code.

What’s New and Different

A new location! Sure we all love visiting Austin, but our community is spread out across the country and so we felt the need to reflect that. This year’s event is located in Phoenix, AZ to reflect the leading role the Arizona Department of Education has played in Ed-Fi development to date. (Note: if you are interested in hosting the 2019 Technical Congress, please let us know – it’s never too early to start planning).

More focused workgroups and fewer plenary sessions. As the Technical Congress is intended to be participatory, the idea is to provide more contexts for experienced field projects and experts to hash out interoperability solutions that work. You’ll see more time for smaller breakouts and workgroups.

Greater place for community-led and emergent collaborations. Last year’s Technical Congress was mostly about key questions and issues for the core Ed-Fi standards and technology stack. However, as we know the Ed-Fi community continues to grow in diversity of use cases supported. Look for more of a presence from emergent use cases and groups, such as the work around teacher preparation and finance data exchange.

Report-outs from all groups – the “Congress.” This year’s event will conclude on Friday, April 13 with a literal “congress” where all breakouts and workgroups can report back on key questions, progress made, or next steps for that particular Ed-Fi sub-group or effort. This session will provide an overview of community activity and engagement opportunities.

Go here to register today for the Technical Congress, see you in Arizona!