The goal of the Education Data Initiative, launched in January 2012, is to make data available to improve educational outcomes, accelerate innovation, and create jobs in the public and private sector, all while rigorously protecting learner privacy.
On October 9, 2012, the White House and the U.S. Department of Education hosted an “Education Datapalooza” showcasing entrepreneurs and innovators working with open educational data to improve educational outcomes. Open education data has the potential to change students’ lives and create new businesses:
Watch all Datapalooza videos on YouTube
Open Educational Data
Open educational data can take many forms, including school performance data, lists of grant applicants, specifications such as the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), data standards such as the financial aid shopping sheet template, and even data about learning resources. The Education Data Initiative focuses on four main types of data:
- Data about individual learners (MyData Initiative)
- Data about learning resources (Learning Registry)
- Data about competencies (Open Badges)
- Raw data sets
The MyData Initiative seeks for every student (or parent of an underage student as appropriate) to have access to his or her own academic data, wherever that data is stored, in both machine-readable and human-readable format. Learn more about the MyData Initiative.
The Learning Registry is a new way to identify and find educational resources online. Content creators, teachers, or everyday Internet browsers can add content to the registry, tagging it according to quality, keyword, and/or alignment to common core standards. As this information is collected, the most effective resources on particular topics bubble to the top, allowing teachers to find effective course supplements (or even entire courses) with minimal time and effort. Learn more about the Learning Registry.
Open Badges is an innovative infrastructure that allows colleges and industry organizations to award micro-credentials (badges) to students who demonstrate proficiency in specific competencies. A student may earn a particular competency badge by demonstrating prior experience, or by participating in courses or informal learning experiences. Because the technology behind the badges is open, a learner can collect badges from any number of different organizations and showcase them in one single place. Eventually, employers may use open badges to search for new employees based on specific competencies, leveling the playing field for job-seekers while doing a better job of matching the right skillsets to the right positions. Learn more about the Open Badges.
Raw Data Sets
Raw data sets are public data devoid of any personally identifiable information, made freely available to the public for download, re-use, and even commercial use. Examples include the IPEDS list of colleges and the Common Core Standards.
Materials from July 10th 2012 DataJam event [2.5MB PDF]