The core of the Ed-Fi mission is data connection.
Assessment results used to be the primary measure of a student’s progress, even though educators knew that test grades were just the beginning when it comes to student learning.
Today, it’s a different story. There’s no shortage of ways that students can learn in and out of the classroom, and no shortage of information that teachers can use to better understand student progress. The trouble is, educators can’t see all of this information in one place. The underlying IT systems simply weren’t designed with this in mind. So, each data point has become an island, detached from other useful information.
But with Ed-Fi, that has changed.
Picture this: You turn on your computer, open a single application, and suddenly, every piece of student data is aggregated and visible. Rostering, behavior, curriculum, assessment—everything. You have an instant, comprehensive view of every measure of student performance. No information gaps. No inaccuracies. No more guesswork.
Connected data. That’s what Ed-Fi delivers.
So how does it work?
The Ed-Fi Data Standard
The first step to integrating multiple data systems is standardization—the technical term for making sure every app and piece of software records data in the same way.
- The student information system (SIS) records whether a student is in a Gifted & Talented Program with a certain numerical code like 13, while…
- The curriculum software records whether a student is in a Gifted & Talented Program using a two-letter abbreviation, like GT….
So if a school counselor wanted to search for all the students in the Gifted & Talented Program, which code do they use to run a quick search?
Without a data standard, pulling these two systems into a single search will lead to all sorts of technical hiccups and inaccuracies. (Learn more about how data is managed with the Ed-Fi Data Standard.)
The Ed-Fi Data Standard, meanwhile, prevents data from being “lost in translation.” By establishing a practical, flexible set of rules for how student information should be recorded and stored, the Ed-Fi Data Standard allows a school’s myriad systems to finally speak the same “language.”
Once a school district, state or vendor has adopted the Ed-Fi Data Standard, they can begin taking control of information—including the ability to leverage technology powered by Ed-Fi.
The Ed-Fi Community is producing an ever-growing set of tools that make use of student data in new, practical, and transformative ways. These tools include a visual dashboard that gives instant insight into each student’s complete profile, a data store to hold all data, and a system for ensuring student data is accurate.
As the suite of Ed-Fi tools expands and grows more feature-rich, so too will the ways in which educators and administrators—at every level of education—can turn student data into student achievement.