Project Unicorn does not leave data interoperability to the imagination. The InnovateEdu initiative, which has grown from 25 districts to over 400 in just the past year, compels edtech companies to create compatible software that can share data.
The New York-based nonprofit also has recently partnered with nearly three dozen edtech companies that have pledged to prioritize data interoperability during software development.
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Participating districts commit to building a robust digital infrastructure, as well as promoting data interoperability and digital learning environments in their technology purchases.
Edtech vendors will help schools create more connected classrooms while prioritizing controlled and secure data transfer between applications. Vendors have adopted the flexible data-exchange standard.
Companies score themselves against a rubric, which encourages adherence. They gain a competitive edge when school districts show their preference by purchasing from companies that adhere to the pledge, says Erin Mote, InnovateEDU’s executive director.
“Our data systems, both instructional and non-instructional, need to be able to talk to each other as seamlessly as possible,” says Sujata Bhatt, managing partner of innovation for Boston Public Schools. “Data needs to enable, not hinder.”