DAILY INSIGHT: AIF—A big step in the right direction

By Steve Smith, CIO Advisor

For quite some time now, "SIF" has been a normal part of vocabulary in the edtech world. Although slow to take hold across all platforms, SIF has laid the foundation for transport of many new educational data standards.

Now, many years after the initiation of SIF, comes AIF (Assessment Interoperability Framework). The driving force behind AIF is the push by the RTTT Assessment Consortia to exchange large amounts of assessment data with schools, districts and states. Through a combined effort of SIF Association, IMS, CEDS and RTTA Consortia, version 1 of the new AIF standards was developed in a little over one year. An amazing feat given the complexities of assessment data.

For those of us who have struggled for years with integrating various local assessments across platforms, this is a huge step forward. The eventual ability to employ only AIF-certified assessments or align our locally built assessments to AIF will greatly reduce the workload associated with exchanging assessment data today.

The development of AIF as well as the true collaboration efforts of SIF, IMS, & CEDS will hopefully propel the rate of edtech system development and implementation to higher levels than we have ever seen previously. More information on AIF can be found at Common Education Data Standards.

This is truly an exciting time to be involved in the transformation of K-12 edtech.

Steve Smith is CIO of the Cambridge Public Schools in Massachusetts. Follow him on Twitter as @ssmithcambridge.

Steve Smith is CIO at Cambridge Public Schools in Cambridge, Mass., an active leader in the Student Data Privacy Alliance, and a member of A4L’s board of directors.