In November of last year, virtual events were still pretty new territory, that was back when virtual happy hours were still a thing (remember?). When we hosted our first ever virtual event, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. But the response was overwhelming. We had over 500 people tune into the two-day event, it was awesome. 

I have a number of important takeaways below, but I’d say the biggest thing I learned was that our Community is probably one of the most enthusiastic and dedicated groups of people I’ve ever been a part of. 

From data lovers and instructional leaders, to EdTech vendors, school districts, CTOs, state education agencies and educator prep programs; this Community of leaders is serious about solving big challenges with data. 

Here’s what I learned at Exchange Live 2020 and why you should join me at Exchange Live 2021.

  • Virtual learning isn’t teaching us anything new, it’s just reinforcing things we already knew. In pre-pandemic times, it was hard for teachers to fill in data gaps to support students. Throw a pandemic on top of that; where students are part-of-the-time in the classroom and part-of-the-time online, it makes those data points even more valuable to teachers working tirelessly to fill in the gaps to make sure students are learning. 
  • Not everyone is seeing the same trends with COVID, but everyone is seeing changes. 
  • Our Community has used innovative practices to help students at the turn of a dime.
  • Ed-Fi can help solve, as well as address challenges like chronic absenteeism, family engagement, streamline state and federal reporting, program diversity and persistence, clinical experience and performance, and how vendors can use Ed-Fi to easily pull roster data. 
  • Equity. Not all students have access to computers or the internet. There are many ways that we as interoperability proponents are using data to help serve these students.

Exchange Live 2021 will present an abundance of new groundbreaking sessions, and while the Ed-Fi Community will not be able to meet in person, I’m looking forward to connecting and exchanging ideas so that data will be the way that the education community tackles the next set of challenges: learning loss, equity, assessments and many others. 

I look forward to seeing you there. Please join me at Ed-Fi Exchange Live 2021!

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