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Beyond SSO: Next-Generation Interoperability at AllHere


AllHere Explained #2


One of the ways an edtech company adds value for the school or district they are partnering with is by ensuring their product or tool can be easily integrated into the district’s existing systems. In order to do this in a truly meaningful way to support outcomes it requires going beyond basic integrations like Single Sign-On (SSO) and instead focusing on next-generation interoperability.


This post, the second in the “AllHere Explained” series, delves deeper into the issue of Next Generation interoperability and describes how AllHere achieves this with Ed™, a pioneering AI-fueled, learning acceleration platform created in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District.


The challenge of interoperability

Interoperability refers to the ability of two or more systems to be able to work together to exchange information meaningfully and accurately in order to produce useful results. Interoperability is always a fundamental consideration in AllHere’s work. AllHere’s customers typically use many different systems for instruction and operations – including some that contain critical or sensitive data. Decision-makers at these organizations require students and families to accomplish multiple tasks across these systems to make a meaningful – or even a mission-critical – impact on student outcomes a reality.


For example, to manage learning recovery, school districts have needed to rapidly ensure adherence to plans for digital tool usage. This may look like 15 minutes of daily usage in one tool, 45 minutes of weekly usage in another, and daily 5-to-10 question skills-practice drills in yet another. The plan may give hundreds of thousands of users, from students to families, access to different learning paths that take the recommendations of these tools and the student’s current assessment and academic progress data into account.


This creates an acute challenge for instructional and technology governance teams. Tracking which student is using which tools and how often, and whether the work that they are doing in each tool meets the student at their level of proficiency in each skill; and tracking this across thousands (2,500, on average) of tools and thousands of users becomes an exceptionally complex problem.


In order to facilitate learning acceleration, instructional and technology governance teams must ensure that users have access to precision-paths within the tools they’re working with, that are adapting at the student’s level of proficiency, and that those experiences are threaded between tools to relieve the cognitive load caused by navigating so many different digital tools, environments, and interfaces.

 

This challenge grows exceptionally with organizational scale. As the number of digital tools grows, so does the number of potential failures - underutilization of certain tools, poor matches between student asset/strength/need and the tools they are using, and extremely variable levels of quality.


Ed was created through a public-private partnership between AllHere and the Los Angeles Unified School District. During the development process, unique tools were incorporated within the platform specifically designed to help instructional and data teams solve the challenges noted above.


 Ed’s Next Generation interoperability

When developing Ed, AllHere created a “Next Generation Interoperability” framework which tightly integrates the skills-to-proficient process across top-tier digital tools (those with independent evidence of efficacy, engaging experiences that are multi-modal for different grade levels, and that are able to be used across multiple devices and mapped to skill levels). When designing Ed’s approach to interoperability, there were three objectives:


  1. Introduce innovation to interoperability beyond Single Sign-On

  2. Capture missing context across tools and make it available to better orchestrate students’ learning experiences

  3. Build intuitive, engaging tools for students to meet prescribed adherence/utilization goals.

Instead of defining interoperability as being able to log into an individual tool, AllHere created Next Generation interoperability in which a potential user in Ed accesses an environment of tools. These tools have been mapped to a student’s specific skill levels and re-mapped into adaptive experiences, guiding the student to precision levels of next-step remediation or acceleration on a single screen - no more, no less. Every student’s experience with the tools is orchestrated in a single environment. The justifications that undergird each next-prompted action within the environment are individualized and impact-focused, creating a “school of one” which is constantly being refined by metadata on how completion of those activities move the student closer to their best levels of performance.

Recording these justifications and the impact that individual learning activities in this environment are having on students’ learning outcomes prompts instructional and technology governance teams to continually consider the necessity and proportionality of their procurement decisions. They can achieve consolidation by considering the utilization of tools in the environment and the relationship between utilization and student outcomes. The output of that approach to next-generation interoperability is captured in the Ed Dashboard, making it available to instructional and technology governance teams for review.

 

With Ed, at any point, a decision maker can understand not just who has access to what tools, but also why a student received ultra-personalized skill practice activities - with all of the context that went into the decision.


 This is advantageous because students have access to thousands of tools each day. By understanding why students received certain activities, and the impact those activities had on the student’s progress – and having this data for each of those thousands of tools – decision-makers can better understand which tools are having the greatest impact on student success.


AllHere believes purposeful interoperability is a necessity. Purposefully focusing on how the thousands of tools and thousands of pieces of data available within a school or district learning system can be used together to achieve the best outcomes for each individual student helps students accelerate their learning. It is one of the many ways in which AllHere is able to provide an ecosystem of support to schools, districts, and their students.


About this Series: This blog post is the second in a series called “AllHere Explained.” The series will explore a range of topics, including AllHere’s approach to security, privacy, AI/ML safety, education innovation, digital transformation, and more. We hope you find these blogs useful and informative; and we welcome feedback.

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