May 9, 2017
PROJECT UNICORN LAUNCHES WITH 29 SCHOOL SYSTEM PARTNERS
Schools take the pledge to improve data interoperability in K-12
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Today Project Unicorn launched with 29 school systems, representing over 650,000 students from across the country by signing a pledge to commit to improving data interoperability in K-12 education. Project Unicorn, led by InnovateEDU, has developed a core set of principles around safe and secure access to education data for schools and districts, and schools have pledged to adhere to these principles. This commitment sends a clear signal to the K-12 education technology market that there is a need for access to education data to transform teaching and learning and to empower parents and students with their own data.
Project Unicorn is an educational advocacy initiative with partners including Digital Promise, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, COSN, EdSurge, and Getting Smart that aims to make the broader case for secure interoperability by working in partnership with school systems and vendors to ensure all parties understand its importance and benefits. The initiative is creating a demand side push for interoperability by educating buyers to consider the total cost of ownership through informed comparison of vendors. Strong data security and privacy safeguards are at the core of Project Unicorn.
“Interoperability represents a more secure way for information to be shared within and across schools,” according to data privacy expert, Rachel Anderson, from Data Quality Campaign. “Because there is a consistency of definitions and protections within a single system, it makes the data much more secure.”
According to COSN Survey of District Chief Technology Officers, seventy-two percent of districts are already at varying stages of implementing data interoperability. Project Unicorn strives to catalyze this growing demand for interoperability, and is working with vendors to prioritize data interoperability into their technologies.
“Once interoperability is in place, we can start working with teachers and students to ask questions about the data,” says Bill Fitzgerald from Common Sense Media. “Interoperability creates the opportunity for deeper levels of reflection in real-time than would be possible without it.”
For more information, visit the Project Unicorn website www.projunicorn.org.
InnovateEDU is a Brooklyn-based nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate the achievement gap by accelerating innovation in next generation learning models and tools that serve, inform, and enhance teaching and learning.