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Press Release: The SIF Association publishes ‘Access 4 Learning’ resources and quality control mechanisms for the education marketplace

The SIF Association is delighted to announce the publication of the ‘Access 4 Learning’ Toolkit and two quality control mechanisms for data systems development for the end-user educational marketplace. The stakes have never been higher in addressing the privacy and security issues around student information and the ‘Access 4 Learning’ Toolkit aims to provide you with information on the latest developments, resources and technology now available to support your work – finally putting the educational institution in charge of their own data!

In preparation for the upcoming Education Information Management Advisory Consortium (EIMAC) meetings in San Diego this week, the SIF Association has brought new light on the possibilities of the impact that data systems can have on learning. The SIF Community is quickly embracing the vision of “It is time to quit talking about data and focus on its application – learning! Let’s simplify and automate the data conversations to allow for access, security and flexibility for all users”.

To support this and to help us move toward this vision, the SIF Community has developed:
- ‘Access 4 Learning’ SIF Toolkit to give you extra “how’s and why’s” in using the only openly developed educational technical standards that are tough enough to be the foundation for some of the largest education data exchanges in the world, yet simple enough to solve school’s needs!
- ‘Access 4 Learning’ SIF Decision Tree, helping end users determine how SIF technical blueprints can support THEIR specific work.
- SIF 2.7 Certification Program: This Certification is major step in transitioning the data model forward towards compatibility with both 2.x and 3.x infrastructures. This is represented by the ‘M’, which stands for migration, in the title. For those running 2.x SIF environments, this is a critical piece in adding new features and functionality to address their immediate and long term needs.
- SIF 3.x Certification Program: This is the first and only marketplace verification process for software developers to provide evidence of their products supporting the National Center for Education Statistic’s (NCES) Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) which are now embedded in the SIF Data Model. SIF 3 Enabled Certified applications utilizes the widely marketplace adopted REST technology which is a major component of the SIF Infrastructure Implementation Specification 3.0.1.

The next action item is yours… Begin to ask interoperable technical standards questions to the marketplace providers you partner with in your solutions development. Implemented products built on standards put you in control of choice, costs, time, security options, and ownership control. Don’t settle for “aligned”, “like”, “based on”, or “mapped” to CEDS/SIF – demand it! The SIF Community stands ready to help – and we don’t want your data OR have anything to sell you!

The ‘Access 4 Learning’ SIF Decision Tree and ‘Access 4 Learning’ Toolkit can be found on the SIF website here – https://www.sifassociation.org/Resources/Decision-Maker-Resources/Pages/Implementing-SIF.aspx

Details of the SIF 2.7 Certification Program and SIF 3.x Certification Program can be found on the SIF Certification Program site here – http://cert.sifassociation.org/

About the SIF Association
The SIF Association is a unique, non-profit collaboration composed of over 3,200 schools, districts, local authorities, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants who collectively define the rules and regulations for educational software data interoperability. The SIF Implementation Specification enables diverse applications to interact and share data efficiently, reliably, and securely regardless of the platform hosting those applications. The SIF Association has united these education technology end users and providers in an unprecedented effort to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach. For further information, visit http://www.sifassociation.org.

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