I am part of a team that is looking at ways to enhance the Department’s digital services and respond to the White House’s Digital Government Strategy. We are spearheading a new initiative to make more of the data ED publishes open and developer-friendly via web application programming interfaces (APIs). APIs allow web developers to pull data from one or more API-enabled sources into another website, application, or mobile app. It makes sharing information more fluid and current. Check out the currently available 16 ED datasets with APIs on ED.gov.
The Department of Education and the White House are reaching out to developers interested in working with education open data. The Data Jam held in June kicked off development of projects and tools to be presented at an Education Datapalooza event to be held at the White House in October 2012. Datapalooza will be an opportunity to highlight tools and services that leverage open educational data sets (education.data.gov), individual electronic student data (MyData), and data about learning content (Learning Registry) to improve student choices around learning. Datapalooza will be streamed live (and posted online afterwards) for anyone who wants to participate. Email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about the event plans, or if you are currently working/interested in working on open educational data integrations.
But Datapalooza is only the first step to engage the public. We want to hear from you – developers and all of our customers. Tell us which ED data sets and online tools have data that should be more open. Great ideas come from everywhere. If you have an idea for an app that would help you and the public access certain types of information, let us know. Your input will help us prioritize the suggestions made here and some of the ideas we already have in mind.
To get the conversation started, here are a few datasets that could be enabled through API:
Comments open on this blog post will be open through August 20. Our team plans to analyze your feedback and set out a plan for making more of our websites and tools more mobile in the coming months.
Thanks for taking the time to tell us what you think!
Jill James is Web Director at the U.S. Department of Education