Updates to the Ed-Fi Dashboard expand functionality and flexibility.

A teacher who wants to quickly correlate attendance data with test scores. An education technology vendor who wants his instructional app to be automatically updated with the latest instructional data. It’s people like these that members of the Ed-Fi Community have in mind when they design and enhance the different components of Ed-Fi technology.

At any given time, community members across the country are working on improvements that keep Ed-Fi technology in pace with the changing needs of teachers, administrators and vendors. Often, this work is focused on behind-the-scenes aspects of the technology, such as expanding the data standard to support new use cases or emerging instructional trends. But most recently, community members focused their attention on the user-facing part of the technology: the Ed-Fi Dashboard.

The dashboard is where the underlying power of the Ed-Fi Data Standard and data model come to the surface. And in that way, it’s a manifestation of the power and insights of the Ed-Fi Community.

What’s New?

The dashboard is a portal into the many data sources a district uses — but couldn’t it also be a data source itself? “The different ways that individuals within an organization use their dashboards and engage with the data could be very helpful information for users,” says Holly Glover, director of data use and privacy at the Arkansas Department of Education. “What if there was a way for you to learn from those interactions so your educators and staff could further benefit from it?”

Enter the Dashboard Usage Module. It’s a one-stop shop for data on dashboard usage, giving educators throughout an organization the chance to share and adopt best practices. Always looking to improve, Holly adds, “This information can also help us keep evolving the dashboard so it keeps pace with what our educators need.”

A second update is a bit more technical but no less valuable. While Ed-Fi Dashboards have plenty of great features out of the box, they’re also designed to be flexible. Districts and states can add plugins and customize their dashboards in lots of different ways.

To make customization easier, the Delaware Department of Education (in concert with the Ed-Fi Alliance) made significant “under the hood” enhancements that make it easier for developers to design plugins for the dashboard. These enhancements involve security and registration assembly scanning — like I said, it’s fairly technical. But the long and short of it is that now both vendors and users will find it easier to expand the scope and functionality of their Ed-Fi Dashboards to support teaching and learning.

These and other features are available now to everyone already licensed with Ed-Fi. Follow this link to get the updated dashboard.

What Else Is New?

Like I said above, the Ed-Fi Community is always working on something to either add to or improve the many components of the Ed-Fi Implementation Suite. Later this summer, we’ll have an even bigger dashboard upgrade to announce. Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, keep up the good work and keep in touch. The only way we’re going to solve the challenges in education today is together — adding to each other’s insights and building on each other’s victories.

Working in the field as educators and vendors themselves, Ed-Fi Community members have firsthand experience with real-world problems. From the console in the classroom to the code behind the scenes, solutions like the ones that went into this new dashboard release help everyone do what they came into education to do in the first place: serve the country’s students.

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