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Grand Challenge - 3.0

3.0: Design and validate an integrated approach for capturing, aggregating, mining, and sharing content, student learning, and financial data cost-effectively for multiple purposes across many learning platforms and data systems in near real time.

To meet the education and productivity goals articulated in this plan, learners and their parents, educators, school and district leaders, and state and federal policymakers must use timely information about student learning and financial data to inform their decisions. Today, these data are maintained in a variety of digital formats in multiple systems at local and state levels. As the processes of learning, assessment, and financial management and accounting move into the digital realm, educational data systems and educational research have become exceedingly complex in terms of scale, heterogeneity, and requirements for privacy. Still, we must create systems that capture, curate, maintain, and analyze educational and financial data in all scales and shapes, in near real time, from all areas where learning occurs: school, home, and community. This must be done fully consistent with privacy regulations.

Although underlying technologies for exchanging data sets exist, education does not yet have the kind of integrated web-enabled data sharing system that has been developed for the healthcare, telecommunications, and financial sectors. Such a system must be capable of dealing with both fine-grained data derived from specific interactions with a learning system and global measures built up from that data, and it must be able to collect, back up, archive, and secure data coming from many different systems throughout a state. It must also be capable of integrating the financial data essential for managing costs. Addressing this challenge will require

  • A data format to represent learning and financial data
  • A service to discover and exchange data
  • A data security standard for the service
  • A specification, test suite, and reference implementation of the service to ensure vendor compliance
  • Best practices to guide the deployment of such services.
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