Project Unicorn is an educational initiative that strives to improve data interoperability in K-12 education. The initiative continuously works on determining shared priorities and forging partnerships between school systems and vendors. The team has compiled a list of 10 questions that decision makers and technology purchasers for schools and districts should ask vendors before deciding on a product.
How does your product allow me to import, export, or synchronize information? What types of information can I transfer and in what format?
Does your product have a data standard such as Ed-Fi, IMS Global, or Access 4 Learning?
Do you adhere to secure student data privacy policies? Are you a signatory of the Future of Privacy Forum Student Privacy Pledge?
Has your development team received training about data privacy and security? Does your architecture support student data security?
How does your application architecture support scalability to provide fast response times to high volume and product usage?
What is the process for incorporating your product into our curriculum? How will we implement the new workflow with this product?
May I reach out to customers who have incorporated your product into their curriculum to ask about their experience?
Does your product rely on research to demonstrate impact and inform product improvement?
If we choose not to continue with your product, what would happen to our data?
One of the most powerful moments in my 22 years of teaching occurred on the last day of the school year.
During the first week of school, my students in rural Pennsylvania played a game via Skype with a group of students in a rural Kenyan village. During that call, they learned of a bridge in the village so dangerous that many children were not able to go to school because of it. Over the course of the school year, the children in Kenya taught my students how to garden. In exchange, my students designed and fundraised to replace that bridge.
Next week, December 3–9, students and educators worldwide are encouraged to spend an hour during the school week to explore the concepts of coding and computational thinking through Hour of Code. Code.org provides an opportunity for all learners, young and old, to explore something new and different.
In part one of this series, we discussed how implementing certain structures can help develop student creation as a learning method. The first three structures included precise scheduling, developing well-crafted scenarios, and offering students choice within their projects.
Let’s dive into the final three structures that help harness student creativity through project-based learning.