Magazine article Curriculum Administrator

SIF - A Simple Idea, Finally

Magazine article Curriculum Administrator

SIF - A Simple Idea, Finally

Article excerpt

Of course, SIF doesn't really stand for these words, but maybe it should. SIF, formally known as the Schools Interoperability Framework, really is a simple idea whose time has come.

For years school officials have muddled through with a problem so common, yet so widespread, that most people stopped thinking of possible solutions. Of course, every school had to enter student data numerous times, because the programs used by the main office, the cafeteria and the nurse's office were all different. While a solution would be as simple as getting the individual software programs, often from different companies, to communicate with each other, this is a concept that had never been accomplished in any industry before.

Two years ago, Microsoft led an effort to create a standard that would allow different software programs to share information. Today, two successful pilots are proving that this idea can work.

While the concept of SIF is rather simple, don't let that disguise the benefit this can be to schools. During a press conference at the NECC conference this summer, a school official got up before a board of SIF representatives and said, "I don't have a question, I just want to thank you for creating something that will save us thousands of hours of work. …

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