The Ed-Fi Alliance is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the development of free standards to improve interoperability within education. Ed-Fi does this by promoting its own data standard and technology suite through a community of schools, agencies, and developers. The Ed-Fi Alliance, which offers its data standards and API code for free, is sponsored by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

The Ed-Fi Data Standard

The Ed-Fi Data Standard is the set of rules for the collection, management, and organization of educational data. The Ed-Fi standards are built on a Unifying Data Model (UDM) that is CEDS-aligned and open-source. The model defines entities such as students, teachers, assessment results, and others. The Ed-Fi standards that are built using the UDM are the Core Student API, the Ed-Fi Enrollment API, the Ed-Fi Assessment Outcomes API, the Ed-Fi Bulk Data Exchange for XML, and Ed-Fi Standard Interchange Schema Bundle. The most recent version of the Ed-Fi Standard is v3.2a (as of January 9, 2020).

The Ed-Fi Operational Data Store/API

The Operational Data Store (ODS) allows users to pull information from several sources into a single database. This database operates through an API that allows applications to create, read, ad update data. The currently supported versions of the Ed-Fi API are v2.6 and v3.3.

Ed-Fi has also published a series of tools to in order to support developers ho implement their interoperability suite. These tools include:

  • The MetaED IDE tool to help developers create and align new data elements;
  • Mapping EDU, which is an online tool that maps data to specific learning standards;
  • The ODS/API Admin App to provide an administrative interface for the Ed-Fi ODS/API;
  • The Ed-Fi Validations tool, which helps users verify that data conforms to the Ed-Fi standard, and;
  • The Ed-Fi Dashboard, which provides a comprehensive and graphical view of the classroom for teachers and administrators.

The Ed-Fi Alliance Community

The Ed-Fi Alliance is made up of a community of various stakeholders in the EdTech space, including over 250 software vendors, 32 state agencies, and nearly 12,000 school districts. Membership in the Ed-Fi alliance is free of charge and access to Ed-Fi technology permitted by signing a free license agreement. Ed-Fi also partners with other educational agencies and organizations, such as Project Unicorn, Common Education Data Standards initiative (CEDS), and Project Nessie.

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