A few years ago, I wrote a blog post on The Components of a Digital Age Learning Ecosystem. Now, it’s becoming commonplace for district leaders to consider the digital resources and tools that they provide their teachers and students as the ecosystem that supports teaching and learning. When thinking about that ecosystem from a digital standpoint, reflect on what holds it together. What supports those platforms and enables them to easily share information and data? This connectedness or glue is provided by interoperability, which is most effectively and seamlessly enabled by open standards from IMS Global that any developer or edtech provider can use to ensure and validate effective integrations.
As a teacher in the classroom, it is essential that the instructional digital toolkit works together like pieces of a puzzle without a lot of wasted time and frustration. One challenge can be making sure that all of the students are able to log in to the various programs easily and securely. An open standard that is used throughout the edtech industry is OneRoster. It keeps student information safe, enables edtech suppliers to provide one-click access to programs, and ensures that students and teachers are provided with the appropriate district-provided digital resources for their classes and courses.
This may sound like a dream scenario to many teachers who are currently struggling with multiple usernames and passwords for their students that vary with each application. Teachers who are provided access to all of their technology tools directly from their district may be unable to select only those programs that implement OneRoster. However, it is possible for teachers to advocate for the use of the OneRoster standard. School and district leaders can require that their edtech providers support and implement the standard and insist that their products are OneRoster certified by IMS Global. Schools and districts can also join IMS Global and collaborate with other educators and edtech partners to improve the open standards as a community of leaders.
Being Digital on Day One of Learning means that as soon as students enter the classroom, they are ready to begin utilizing the digital resources available to begin learning. By facilitating easy and equitable access to technology tools and platforms, districts can ensure that they are making the most of their investment and providing teachers with the support necessary to focus on the instructional needs of their students instead of having to focus on the technology. By using technology resources that are OneRoster certified, districts can more effectively realize how to be digital on day one of learning.
To see an example of OneRoster in action, click here.