We are pleased to share a major update to the Ed-Fi Technology Roadmap! Many thanks to all the community members who contributed the feedback behind this most recent update.
You may notice that we have a new visual display. While we received many compliments on the older format, that format was not scaling very well as the scope of products and releases increased. The new, simpler format should enable community members to scan the roadmap more easily to find the updates most important to their needs. As with the old format, there is also a spreadsheet download version available via the link in the upper right corner of the visual display.
While we encourage everyone to browse the items for those most applicable to your organization, these are a few important elements we feel are worth highlighting.
One of the key pieces of feedback from the community is that new adopters of the Ed-Fi platform need quicker paths to valuable insights about student learning and needs. The solution to this problem is Starter Kits. Starter Kits are simple, easily installable, pre-configured toolkits and visualizations designed to address a key pain point in K12 education.
Developing Starter Kits began in 2020 and the work came out of community work on analytics solutions. Essentially the Alliance and community members have worked to package and share analytics tools already working in the field.
You will notice a new swim lane devoted to Starter Kits on the roadmap.
Docker Support Delivered
Over the past 2 years, we saw a surge in demand for Docker-based containerization options for the Ed-Fi platform. We are pleased to announce that we have Docker-based options for major applicable platform components, including the recent release of the Admin App 2.1.
These releases will enable use of the core Ed-Fi platform on a variety of operating systems and expand the possibilities for deployment in the cloud on platforms like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.
Making this transformation took a lot of time and effort, not just in porting the necessary .NET code to .NET Core, but also in determining the right components for these Docker installations and in testing and deployment support. We would like to thank in particular the participants in the Ed-Fi in Containers Special Interest Group and the Ed-Fi Technical Advisory Group for their time and energy to help us make a lot of important decisions on this journey. Additionally, the partnership with Google Cloud and Innive to do assist the Ed-Fi platform team with some of the the heavy lifting of development is deeply appreciated.
As the roadmap shows, support for Docker is ongoing, with subsequent releases to continue and improve support planned into and beyond the 2021 calendar year.
Teacher Preparation Data Model (TPDM) Evolves
Also on the roadmap are some key releases designed to evolve and mature TPDM and align the work the core Ed-Fi standards and technology platform. This work is planned as a follow on to the TPDM v1.0 release in January.
Per the roadmap, we see incorporating this work into the core directly as early access material. This will expand access to TPDM resources, encourage more experimentation and feedback, and provide existing platform users with some data models potentially useful in existing analytics.
LMS Data on the Horizon
In 2020, in response to the COVID pandemic we began an effort to extract and normalize data from Learning Management Systems. In 2021, we continue that work, and plan to evolve that work and tackle problems related to joining that data to this LMS data.
This work originally went under the code name “Project Fizz” (long story!) but has recently been renamed the LMS Toolkit.
We would love feedback and input on this work, particularly from school districts willing to test out what we have so far and/or tell us where they would like to see this work go. For more information, see the LMS Toolkit site on Ed-Fi TechDocs and reach out on Ed-Fi Slack for more info.
We also owe a big thank you to all the people who attended and provided feedback on the early work during our Fix-It-Friday meeting series last Summer and Fall.
It is hard to not dedicate space here to mentioning core Ed-Fi ODS/API releases, updates to the Ed-Fi Data Standard, and tool releases such as Analytics Middle Tier, MetaEd and others.
All those details would be too lengthy to cover here, so we invite you to consult the roadmap and encourage you to reach out via Ed-Fi Slack if you have any questions. We love to hear your feedback and ideas!