This is our seventh year hosting the Ed-Fi Summit. Located in glorious Austin, Texas, this conference has grown from a huddle of 20 people into a gathering of hundreds. The Summit is valuable (arguably invaluable) for everyone in the education space, both for the technical knowledge sharing and sector-wide collaboration.

This year’s event will comprise more than 80 sessions, an inspiring keynote, and daily networking events—not to mention a brilliant excuse to spend time in downtown Austin! For those of you music lovers, we highly recommend sticking around after the conference for the first weekend of Austin City Limits

If you think this event is only for technologists, think again.

While our Technical Congress and bootcamp events are more tech-heavy, the Summit provides a mix that’s intended to unite and advance the entire education sector’s goals around student data collection and usage.

I strongly feel that if you’re in education, there’s something of value for you at the Summit. If you’re an educator, you’ll want to talk about integrating all of the tools and processes that you use on a daily basis to help students.

From an administration standpoint, it’s about ways that you can have access and ownership of your data so that you can share with teachers and other stakeholders.

And at a state level, it’s about understanding that you’re not in it alone, you’re not this island.

The community, the sessions, being able to speak with the vendors who really understand the Ed-Fi Alliance and the technologies—these are the reasons to come and to continue coming and being a part of the Ed-Fi family. ”

-Shane Fairbairn, Supervisor of Instructional Technology, North East Florida Educational Consortium

There will be plenty of technical sessions for those seeking tactical skills for Ed-Fi implementation, but you can also attend the Summit without looking at a single string of code—or at least without needing to understand it.

Informed directly by our community and 80+ top-notch presenters, these are some of the major themes we’re tackling at this year’s event:

Connecting Technologists with the Classroom

The purpose of data interoperability in education is to better support our nation’s teachers and learners. So we need teachers in the conversation. We need parents in the conversation. We need principals, instructional coaches, counselors, and students in the conversation.

Many school district IT leaders feel disconnected from the classroom. This is deeply concerning; when ed-tech developers and managers aren’t interacting with educators and students, they work tirelessly on technologies that don’t fit well within day-to-day classroom life and are, therefore, ineffective. Technologists—like anyone—also burn out if they aren’t connecting with the people they work hard to serve.

To break down these silos, one of the primary goals for this year’s Summit is to foster meaningful conversations between technologists and educators.

Everything You Need to Succeed with Ed-Fi

Technical prowess isn’t all that’s required to bring data interoperability to a school district, organization, or state. As with any major project, the process is everything. Those of you who are in the works with an Ed-Fi implementation already know the importance of defined leadership, project management, collaboration, and communication.

Data governance will be a major theme at this year’s event, including talks with numerous community members who have led their own Ed-Fi implementations. After all, data interoperability will only be as successful as the systems and teams that manage it.

There will be numerous Summit sessions on how to communicate about the business case and resources required to achieve and maintain interoperability. Get ready—there will even be a team building session on Ed-Fi Love Languages!

We’ll also be announcing this year’s Community Awards to recognize the individuals and teams who have achieved great success with Ed-Fi and gone above and beyond for the community in 2019.

“When you’re trying to do a pretty heavy lift like data interoperability, you cannot do it by yourself. Even the small community you can build in your region or state really isn’t enough.

You need to hear from a wide variety of practitioners that are doing different things, and the Foundation and the Ed-Fi Alliance themselves, because that really helps you get a clear vision of what’s possible. Then you can start building a roadmap and trying to find partners in order to achieve your goals. It’s the promise that Ed-Fi offers, and that’s the thing I really enjoy about the Summit.”

-Pete Just, Chief Technology Officer, Wayne Township

Mapping the Future of Student Data, Together

For those attendees who enjoy being directly involved in Ed-Fi’s decision making, we always host a road-mapping session at the Summit. We’ll present our 2020 roadmap, including some huge announcements that will be changing the shape of Ed-Fi, to collect community feedback.

Our numerous special interest groups and working groups will also share what they’ve accomplished in 2019 and what the future holds for data visualization, third-party integrations, and APIs for special education and social and emotional learning.

Run, Don’t Walk! Registration Closes on September 23rd.

You can learn more, see the full agenda, and register here.

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