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TrustEd Apps Pledge FAQ

Why do we need the TrustEd Apps pledge?

The pledge provides a way for educational institutions and suppliers to endorse open standards and their willingness to work together to ensure that open standards are successful in edtech. By "successful," we mean that open standards are the best way to achieve secure integrations, substantially reduce the time/complexity of performing/managing integrations, and keep the barriers to innovation in edtech low.

How will endorsing the pledge make a difference in how the edtech ecosystem evolves?

TrustEd Apps is the best way to grow the ecosystem to support all stakeholders by achieving plug-and-play integration via open standards, enabling educational institutions of all kinds to design and implement an agile, scalable, data-rich edtech ecosystem that supports their unique goals in supporting faculty and students. The pledge highlights those organizations who agree that Standards First is the best way to help educational institutions. Your voice matters! And together, we go farther, faster.

What benefits does my organization receive by endorsing the pledge?

In addition to showing your organization's support by displaying the TrustEd Apps Pledge Endorser logo, your organization will receive the support and backing of the many industry associations working towards the ubiquitous adoption of open standards. This includes 1EdTech's growing network. 1EdTech will also help pledge endorsers directly with issues they report via the governance process.

Endorsement of the pledge is not signing a legally binding contract on behalf of your organization. Endorsement is a commitment to the importance of community collaboration to achieving a trusted and open edtech ecosystem. 1EdTech reserves the right to revoke the endorsement if there is evidence that the principles of the pledge have not been upheld.

Who can endorse the pledge?

Any organization that agrees with the pledge can sign the pledge. You do not need to be a 1EdTech member. Individuals who endorse the pledge on their organization's behalf should understand the pledge governance process.

Is this pledge consistent with other pledges at work in the edtech ecosystem?

Yes. The TrustEd Apps pledge complements other community pledges that reference student data privacy and interoperability. The TrustEd Apps pledge (as part of broader 1EdTech's TrustEd Apps Program) achieves the "gold standard" for assessing data privacy and interoperability based on open standards that can be verified on an ongoing basis by an extensive network of implementers and neutral processes and certification testing provided by 1EdTech, the world's largest edtech consortium.

Is the pledge only applicable to 1EdTech standards (like OneRoster®)?

No. The TrustEd Apps pledge is supportive of all open standards. Please endorse the pledge if you believe in its principles, even if you don't use 1EdTech standards. The goal is the success of open standards in educational technology.

What is the definition of "Open Standards"?

There is no single accepted definition of the term open standards. 1EdTech's use of the term is consistent with a set of key principles endorsed by open standards advocates, including published specifications that are:

  • (a) Freely available to all with no implementation restrictions,
  • (b) Licensed for free with no restrictions on software implementations,
  • (c) Created, endorsed, governed, owned, and maintained by a substantial representation from across the community that is asked to abide by the standards, in our case, the K-12 and HED edtech communities,
  • (d) Governed via transparent neutral processes that provide for equitable participation by members of the community, specifically not controlled by some limited set of market participants, and
  • (e) Transparent with respect to any intellectual property claims that may hinder market adoption.

Can 1EdTech guarantee that all signers of the pledge are faithful to its terms?

No. But 1EdTech does have the legal authority to revoke the pledge if the governance process reveals significant issues in their support of any aspects of the pledge. Remember that 1EdTech is a non-profit collaboration across institutions, state education systems, and suppliers who have voluntarily joined to improve the edtech ecosystem for all. 1EdTech has community support to help resolve issues positively for all stakeholders.

What happens if organizations don't abide by the pledge?

1EdTech has instituted a governance policy for signers of the pledge. This governance is backed fully by the strength of the 1EdTech community and its fair and neutral governance process.

Why does the pledge require transparency from suppliers concerning fees related to open standards?

Open standards are of great benefit to suppliers in edtech in terms of reducing the cost of the many integrations they are required to support. Standards have a cost of implementation to suppliers, even if they are distributed and licensed for free (as is the case with all 1EdTech standards). But many leading suppliers choose to implement open standards, in addition to the many benefits to their customers, because the cost is returned to them 100-1000 fold in savings in dealing with their partners.

Despite this clear ROI to suppliers, some suppliers make it more difficult or expensive to provide an open standards-based integration to their customers. If that is the situation, then customers need to understand this cost to decide whether they believe it is worth it. Now, it may be that the supplier has not implemented the open standard before and that the customer desires it in a timeframe that justifies an additional cost. The point is that customers need to be certain when they are getting open standards-based integrations and also be aware of the costs that might be added to purchasing open standards-based solutions versus proprietary alternatives.

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