Washington, DC, 4 May 2021 — The Access 4 Learning® (A4L) Community is proud to announce the latest release of the new Unity Specification which provides standardization of learning data, ranging from everything from classroom rostering to federal data reporting, while addressing privacy issues throughout the education data continuum.
“Once again, the Community needs to be commended on their industrious work in producing this Unity Specification release in such a hectic and unprecedented time”, states Larry L Fruth II, PhD A4L’s Executive Director/CEO. “The Community has worked tirelessly to meet the increasing needs of the marketplace, incorporating and strengthening essential requirements such as privacy, remote online learning, instructional delivery mode and more, so that educational institutions can ensure they are all “connecting and securing effective learning ecosystems TM”.
The release updates and provides resources support for: Online Learning Profile; Instructional Delivery Mode; Positive Attendance & Expectations Met; OpenAPI, JSON Schema, and API Documentation; JSON Examples & Conversion Tools; and a final key area, giving the release its name, is the inclusion of Personal Privacy Obligations Document (P-POD). The P-POD provides new objects to support the transfer of data regarding vendors, their products/services, assessments, and results of assessments. These assessment types could be security, privacy or interoperability related and the approach will help provide an on the wire capability to support emerging vendor catalogues, assessments of products and vendor onboarding processes. The P-POD seeks to create a place to communicate personal requirements around an individual learner.
The Unity Specification was built by our volunteer members developed using open, non-proprietary and transparent processes. It contains the most comprehensive K12 data model and modern, internationally used transport technologies to securely move the data to provide it to the right person at the right time in the right way under local data privacy control per Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) guidance. The ‘Unity’ infrastructure has increased performance and security on the wire, ease of usage, and scales for the widest educational focused interoperability by any technical standard – with or without the need for middleware!
To find out more about the ‘Unity’ Specification, please go to: https://data.A4L.org/introducing-unity/