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Unifying Classrooms to Personalize Learning: How interoperability makes personalized learning possible.

Q&A with Marcy Daniel, Chief Product Officer, and Rich Gay, Chief Information Security Officer & VP Software Development, PowerSchool

Why is personalized learning so important?

Marcy: It leverages a student's interests, their strengths, then tailors instruction to their specific needs and goals.

Rich: It gets into predictive analytics. Traditionally the analytics type of reporting is a look at what has been happening. Personalized learning is looking at what is going to happen.

How can IT officials ensure student data privacy while still getting important information?

Rich: Successful individualized learning plans require performance analytics on every student. A district needs to work with vendors that have solid information security practices and have good practices across the board on how they run their data centers, their infrastructure and their certifications. Most important is what are the capabilities of the application regarding enforcing the notion of roles?

What should a district look for in a vendor?

Rich: Look for a vendor that's going to respect data privacy and that's going to work with the district to ensure that they're providing service around predictive analytics and equipping teachers to do a great job with the educational outcomes of students, but at the same time, not misusing data.

What role does interoperability play?

Marcy: With the proliferation of technology in digital and traditional curriculum and learning happening in different contexts, it is important to pull data together in a single place so it can be synthesized and can guide personalized learning. If all that data is living in different systems that aren't interoperable, then the path you're planning for a student is skewed because you're not seeing the full picture.

What features ensure that systems and software are interoperable?

Rich: It's very common for teachers to work with over a dozen applications and websites from different vendors every day, entering the same data, the same grades, into several different applications, and having to cross-enter the results of some analysis from one program over to a different application. Sometimes the data isn't even current. It's not only important that there is integration, but it is also important that the integration is provided in a way that does not burden the teacher and instead gives them more time to teach.

For more information, visit powerschool.com/personalized-learning View, comment, share this story online at DAmag.me/PowerSchool

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Title Annotation:SPONSORED CONTENT; Marcy Daniel and Rich Gay of PowerSchool
Publication:District Administration
Article Type:Interview
Date:Sep 1, 2018
Words:390
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