By Sean Casey & Maureen Wentworth
It may look like the only running we do these days is from buffet line to conference session, but we do try to get out on a real trail every once in a while. We appreciate the feeling of putting everything into a long run, and the reward of accomplishment that follows – the feeling of getting better with each effort. See where this analogy is going?
That’s the feeling we have this week about the Summit, the Community, and the work. The Ed-Fi Community continues to put everything we have into this run and we’re getting better, faster, and stronger every year! The proof is in the numbers:
This year’s race report includes nearly 400 energized Community members who devoted three days to sharing, learning, debating, and celebrating. During 75 Community lead breakout sessions, we saw connections being made between innovators in our Community, and problems getting solved in real time. Our newest Community members jumped right in, seeking experience and expertise from veterans and adding new perspective to our growing body of work.
During the general sessions we were able to first step out of our comfort zone, and then remind ourselves of the importance of our work and the impact we have on learners.
The Wednesday morning plenary pushed us to think outside of our education box and learn from successful tech innovation in the vacation rentals sector. We were joined by Bill Furlong, Vice President of North American Operations for HomeAway, who spoke about growth, scale, and disrupting a marketplace.
Bill provided key insight into the challenges of connecting data, and the opportunities to use technology to facilitate trust and connections.
Then, over lunch, we brought these lessons home in a fireside chat with the Dallas Promise Initiative. We heard from Eric Ban of Dallas Promise, a dreamer, Cornelia McCowan of Grand Prairie ISD, a doer, and Mark Luetzelschwab of Amazon Web Services, a builder—about using the power of interoperability to change the game for learners, educators, employers, college pathways, and local communities.
Our Community made news throughout the week—we officially launched our Learning Standards Initiative in partnership with Certica Solutions, advanced our collaboration with CEDS and released the Ed-Fi Generate plug-in on the Exchange, launched the Ed-Fi Academy to provide on-demand training and resources for Ed-Fi Implementation, and announcing our second annual Community Award winners (congrats, y’all!).
This year’s Summit and Bootcamp reinforced for us that this is a community of action. Standards level the playing field and provide rich environments for innovation, but standards are nothing without the people who are willing to put this vision into action. That’s what the Ed-Fi Community is all about. It was a common theme across this year’s sessions, and one we are immensely proud of. We may not be at the finish line yet, but we are certainly feeling that runner’s high!
View the gallery on this event page for more of our favorite Summit photos.