Why district CIOs should prioritize data interoperability

For K-12 technology directors to embrace emerging technology, they must first ensure data can be interoperable, says Gil Anspacher, the technology director for Corvallis School District 509J in Oregon.

“In terms of emerging tech, more and more what we’re seeing is the need for data interoperability,” Anspacher says in a video interview with EdScoop. “Systems need to be able to work together.”

Anspacher, who joined the district in May 2018, says his role is understanding what legacy systems are doing for the district and working to bring those up to speed using emerging tech while still fulfilling the “functional needs” of what those systems do for school districts.

“The big piece of it is what are we trying to get out of these systems moving forward?” Anspacher says. “These systems are touching every department, every function within the district.”

Because of that overlap, interoperability is key, he says. Systems may need to share data even if they don’t serve the same purpose for the district. In addition, they need to do it in a secure and private way. Because those security and privacy needs continue to evolve in districts like Anspacher’s, they’re coming to the forefront of more decisions — technological and otherwise — for the district.

“In terms of data privacy and security, sometimes that gets looked at just as this thing of protection in the background that happens in the tech department,” Anspacher says. “I really see that shifting and coming out into the leadership space.”

Anspacher on top priorities:

Anspacher on the evolution of his role:

This video was filmed at the Consortium for School Networking’s annual conference in Portland, Oregon, on April 3, 2019.