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DXtera’s 2021 Year in Review

Is it just us, or did 2021 fly by? Maybe we’ve just been exceptionally busy this year creating new community connections, working hard to launch new initiatives, and securing funding to continue to deliver on our non-profit mission. 

Here are some of the highlights we want to share from the past year. 

Across our membership community we have been engaged in communities of practice to build open solutions that will transform the education market focused on the following:

  1. Data Management Solutions – Led by the Community College System of New Hampshire and the University of Hawai’i System, we have expanded our suite of tools and components to utilize ALL data across an institution to improve your decisions and interventions. Please review the roadmap of activity and join into the upcoming community discussions.  
  2. Improving Degree Progress Accuracy – We are collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund a Degree Progress Accuracy and Tracking Demonstration Project. This project will enable DXtera and its project partners and proud members (Bay Path University, the University of Arizona, and Damour Systems) to explore and test replicable integration solutions to the degree data challenge.  Aimed at bringing data management and transparency to higher education, DXtera will use the grant to analyze the data integration, data acquisition, and management gaps associated with student progress, program pathways, and curriculum development.  
  3. Supporting AI in Education – A community of DXtera members has sought to support the development of educational tools that utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to better deliver equitable education success.  DXtera is proposing projects  and seeking collaborators, to develop and test processes to de-identify authentic data and provide tooling to generate synthetic data that can be used for conducting educational data science. Our intent is to utilize existing integration technologies, data standards, data management applications, and community to create and make available highly authentic data sets with anonymization, simulation, and/or encryption required to allow for use in developing, training, and testing emerging advanced analytics and AI tools.
  4. Gardner Institute – DXtera is collaborating with the John N. Gardner Institute to explore integration and automation of data access for the “Transfer GPS & Program Mapper” project.  Working with Growing Inland Achievement (GIA), this project is developing a web-based application that assesses students’ progress towards degree completion and performs a “what-if” analysis related to various course transfer scenarios. 
  5. DXtera and Riiid teamed up to catalyze and create the EdSAFE AI Alliance focused on establishing benchmarks for the emerging AI in the Education sector. The EdSAFE AI Alliance will seek to encompass four critical S.A.F.E categories – Safety (security, privacy), Accountability (defining stakeholder responsibilities), Fairness (equity, ethics, non-bias), and Efficacy (qualified improved learning outcomes). More broadly, the newly formed group will create and define industry standards. We recently announced the addition of two leadership roles to the Alliance. We’re thrilled to welcome Beth Havinga and Dr. Russell Shilling to the team and invite all parties to join this community.
  6. Launched DXtera Solutions – DXtera doubled down our mission to bring data to the forefront of education, so creating DXtera Solutions (as an affiliate company) to provide hosted services and expertise to educational institutions was a natural extension of that. DXtera Solutions provides a suite of services, innovative research, and products designed to drive institutional effectiveness and improve student success. 

In case you missed them, here’s a roundup of blogs we published and events that we were engaged in this year that further communicate the need for data in education. 

  1. Decision-Driven Analytics, written by DXtera co-founder Jeff Merriman. This blog tackles why organizations should ask questions about what they need from data before it’s aggregated. 
  2. Collaborating to Support the Market for AI in Education, written by DXtera co-founder Dale Allen. Artificial Intelligence, when properly integrated with innovative educational pathways and engaged instructors, offers the potential for powerful predictive tools for developing an effective workforce. It also meets the skills requirements of industry and enables equitable student success by ensuring learning meets students where they are, instead of assuming all students are on the same path.
  3. Student Success Through Data. This peak behind the curtain at the Community College System of New Hampshire highlights the chronic underfunding and inequality were highlighted even more so when everyone was forced to learn from home. Those students and staff who relied on on-campus wifi and equipment to learn and work in person were left to grapple with the uncertainty of when they could safely return to campus. CCSNH made a decision early in 2020 to not return to business as usual, but to take the opportunity to lift up its underrepresented population.

2021 was exciting, but we firmly believe that the upcoming year will be our best yet. We hope that you’ll join us on our journey to bring equity to education. If you’re interested in joining a community of innovative leaders seeking to disrupt and improve the education technology landscape, we encourage you to join DXtera. Together, we can transform the market and make a shared difference in the way educators create equitable success for ALL students.

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