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Free Resources: SETDA's New Report: 'Transforming Data to Information in Service of Learning'

Posted May 21, 2013
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To raise awareness about many of the major K-12 data standards and interoperability initiatives underway to address these and related issues, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has released a new report, entitled Transforming Data to Information in Service of Learning. SETDA developed this new report to help education leaders understand how technical interoperability initiatives relate to teaching and learning and to offer recommendations for how states, districts, and schools can become more responsive to educator needs and personalize learning for students.

The initiatives profiled in this report focus on ensuring consistent data definitions across schools, enabling the sharing of information across school data systems, and facilitating the search and discovery of education resources on the internet. “The widespread implementation of new and emerging interoperability initiatives will be instrumental to realizing the full potential of technology in education,” said Douglas Levin, SETDA executive director. “Our intent is that this report serve as an opening to a deeper and sustained conversation about how to make this happen.”

In a context where there is growing interest in leveraging new digital learning tools, online services, educational "apps," and other technologies in and out of the classroom for learning, the SETDA report offers three recommendations:

* Develop a consensus-based, long-term vision and roadmap for interoperability to ensure investments in technology and digital learning are cost effective and meet educator and student needs.

* Establish an ongoing mechanism to certify best practices and address transparency related to the privacy and security of student data.

* Address data standards and interoperability issues with vendors as part of state and district procurement processes for educational technology and digital learning solutions, including for the adoption of free solutions.

While there are many organizations working on these issues now, the report asserts that new leadership will be required from the federal government, state governments, school districts, nonprofits, and the technology industry to make needed advances.

The report, "Transforming Data to Information in Service of Learning," may be downloaded on the SETDA website at

Source: State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA),

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