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RESOURCES FOR DECISION MAKERS

The Access 4 Learning Community is about enabling the identification, management, movement and usage of information for learning.

This is the place to start - Resources!  No matter what hat you wear or where in the world you wear it, you will find resource information developed by your peers to help create your own learning success stories.  If you would like additional resources, including access to staff resources and participating in various usage discussions with your peers, why not consider membership?  A4L Community Members get VIP access to even more support, so start your application today!

Why a Community?
"We don't build widgets, we build learners".  Education is the ultimate community endeavor.  It combines parents, administrators, practitioners, researchers, policy-makers, product providers, and the learners themselves - all playing various critical roles.  We believe it needs community support to ensure success.

The Access 4 Learning Community is a unique, non-profit collaboration composed of 3,200 schools, districts, local authorities, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants who collectively work to define the rules and regulations for educational information interoperability.  The Community has united these education technology end users and provides in an unprecedented effort to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach.
 
Why Standardized Data Exchanges?
"One offs" and "flavor of the day" cannot continue to be the normal operational pattern in education.  Think about if we let each homebuilder put in their own flavor of electrical wiring and outlets in each house they build.  That does not work in home building and it does not work in education!  What is needed is a set of agreed upon "rules of the road" for what products have to at least reach to allow for the leveraging of critical education resources.  SIF stands for the Systems Interoperability Framework (or Schools Interoperability Framework in North America).  The openly and collaboratively built SIF Implementation Specifications enable diverse applications to interact and share learning information efficiently, reliably, and securely regardless of the platform hosting those application.  It is not a product.

For the vendor, the SIF standard facilitates seamless information sharing and reporting between conformant educational applications without incurring expensive customer-specific development costs.  For the end user, the application conformity it provides, allows educational establishments to purchase and deploy best-of-breed solutions simply, securely, in a scalable manner, all in a standardized way.