I just want to reiterate that the CPS Apples to Apples project is larger than me, or any one person.
After I set up the initial release of data as a prototype of what this COULD be, I have had a steady stream of helpful and talented CPS parents, educators, journalists and Chicagoans joining in to:
- offer up data,
- suggest different ways of looking at the data and interpreting it,
- designing infographics to enhance understanding of the data,
- creating/coding visual interpretations of understanding the data,
- playing with alternative suggestions and ideas for ways to extend the project and involve others.
That is really the fun of opening up the data and opportunities to anyone. That is why we use Google Fusion to allow others to access and play with the data that we find and format. And formats that also allow others to pull the data into a variety of software programs most familiar to them. It is a most satisfying way to engage communities across the Internet.
During the last 6-8 weeks, the following stakeholders have intersected with the Apples to Apples project, and I am thankful to all of them.
- Rich Gordon and his Medill Graduate Students who designed a Smart Phone prototype using some of the first Apples to Apples data that was pulled together
- Wendy Katten, Jill Wohl, Amy Smolensky and Amy Goodman of Illinois Raise Your Hand who have been critical partners in suggesting ideas for what to look for in the massive amounts of data collected and how to present it
- Whet Moser of Chicago Magazine who was the first journalist to grab our data out of Google Fusion and play with it to illustrate a story about the Geography of School Poverty in Chicago.
- Anonymous CPS Parents who called our Apples to Apples Hotline (via Google Voice) @ 872-222-SIZE
- Josh Kalov of Open City Apps who has become an invaluable partner in this project for locating specific types of data and creating interactive applications for viewing it.
- Derek Eder of Open City Apps who have welcomed us with ideas, resources, talent and crowdsourced snacks.
- Aya O’Connor of Open City Apps who lent her graphic design skills to helping visualize the effects of the Space Utilization formula at the CPS school level.
- Various Twitter subscribers who have offered and asked for different types of data in a collaborative effort aimed at understanding Chicago Public Schools at the district and school level.
This project would also not have been possible without the willingness of the City of Chicago, the Illinois State Board of Education, and Chicago Public Schools to publish their data online. It isn’t always in the most user-friendly format, but it does allow us to gain access to the data that our tax dollars have paid for and use it in a way that increases transparency, understanding, and community engagement.
We’re hoping to publish our next round of data releases soon, this time with the help of even more CPS parents who have joined our efforts. I’ll introduce them soon!
Just think, it has only been one month since we released our first data set. What a great start!
It’s always better to be working together with smart and involved people. So thank you, all of you.