Foreword by Larry Fruth II PhD, CEO/Exec Director, A4L Community
Albert Einstein famously stated, “In the midst of every difficulty lies opportunity.” While I am quite sure he did not intend this for a global pandemic, this restricted time has given many individuals, families and even organizations time to review ‘how they work’. Recently, the North American Management Board of the Association held conversations around how to communicate our collective work more effectively, addressing the realities of interoperability and privacy.
There is a plethora of organizations, both established but many new ones, attempting to address interoperability and privacy – no matter how you define those terms. While these are major pain points for schools, getting them to define what success looks like is being communicated differently from these organizations, and in most cases no ‘roadmap’ is provided to reach a successful end. The A4L Community is the ONLY organization addressing both privacy and interoperability in a tactical manner. We believe that increased interoperability without the inclusion of privacy requirements equals increased RISK. Both data sharing and privacy parameters must be identified and communicated.
So how do we emphasize, and yet simplify, how we communicate the work we do as a Community? Simple. We do not focus just on the terms and activities surrounding interoperability and privacy but focus on what school and state CIOs are trying to accomplish every day in their roles – ‘Connecting and Securing the K12 Ecosystem’. You will be seeing this phrase numerous times in the future as we ensure the alignment of SIF/Unity work with the work of the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC).
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that we globally educate by shifting learner’s ‘bricks and mortar’ setting to an online delivery model, putting huge new demands on school personnel, parents, technology providers and the learners themselves. Whatever fall looks like for schools, the Community’s focus will continue to be helping schools and states accomplish their goals.
Much more to come…. stay safe!
Global Community News:
Connecting and Securing the K12 Ecosystem; Welcome new members!
AU Community News:
Safer Technologies 4 Schools (ST4S)
NZ Community News:
A4L Community delighted to welcome New Zealand and publish the inaugural SIF Specification (NZ)
NA Community News:
SIF Data Model: Comparison; COMMUNITY REVIEW: EDFacts Mapping Candidate Release; Unity Adoption Guidebook; ADVANCE NOTICE: Unity Specification (Mappings Release); Partner Update
Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) News:
UPDATE: SDPC National Data Privacy Agreement (DPA) Clause Set; SDPC announce Vendor Signatory Badge Program; SDPC Update, May 2020; Update: Interoperability & Privacy Symposium