Special Report

Unchaining Digital Data

K-12 Interoperability
November 28, 2018
As schools have become increasingly dependent on technology, many district leaders have come to grips with a frustrating reality: They’re awash in data, but much of it sits in silos, isolated and virtually useless. Now, a nascent effort by K-12 district tech administrators and advocates seeks to break through those technological barriers, by demanding “interoperability”—the seamless sharing of data across products and systems—of themselves and tech companies. In this report, we look in depth at the hard questions that K-12 district tech leaders need to ask about interoperability. And we detail the experiences of districts that have already begun down that uncertain path. The report includes a profile of one district’s interoperability journey; tips and mistakes for K-12 administrators to avoid when they pursue data overhauls; and the results of an original survey of the nation’s chief technology officers, breaking down their biggest challenges with interoperability, and the problems they are counting on it to solve.