How will student data be used?

Call it an unintended consequence of the digital education era: all sorts of student data is being created, but is frequently stuck in the software where it was generated.

A gutsy foundation-funded, multi-state, data-geeky initiative, the Shared Learning Infrastructure hopes to pull together these sources of student data, put it in the cloud, and use it to make better personalized learning decisions. It’s a big effort by the coordinating Shared Learning Collaborative and complex, with many moving parts. And I dig into it over at the NPR education blog MindShift.slc-avatar_reasonably_small

If you’re into buzzwords, it’s a project that could enable Big Data and learning analytics. SLI is so complicated, that gathering information for an essay took place through several meetings over several months. And my attempt to make it simple without, I hope, making it stupid resulted in a piece that is twice as long as most columns I write.

The result is a look at what the Shared Learning Infrastructure is– now that it’s just entered its alpha, or pilot, phase (only a handful of days behind schedule) — and what it could mean for educators, students and the education industry, in terms of both potential benefits and challenges.

Read “How will student data be used?” at MindShift.