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Joint Project: How Is School Data Recorded and Used?

When it comes to digitization, digital data is increasingly being produced in schools. The Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib) at the University of Bremen is coordinating a three-year joint project investigating its use. It is financed by the Federal Government with 1.2 million euros.

By “datafication,” scientists mean that more data than ever about all processes and people in the school system is being electronically recorded and processed. In schools, this includes data on the choice of subjects, grades, and absence. Personal information about pupils such as their native language, nationality, and need for support is also collected. This influences the decisions and opinions of teachers, parents, school authorities, school boards, and educational policy-makers. However, data collection and its use is by no means unbiased. What data is collected and for what reasons? What data is not requested? How do these school records shape the idea of good education and the right use of digital media in teaching?

ifib Focus: School Information Systems

In the DATAFIED (data for and in education) joint project, ifib and its partners are investigating various levels of information processing and use in the education system: ifib is primarily concerned with changes in the organization of schools through school information systems and comprehensive data infrastructures. In several steps, existing systems are recorded and analyzed in order to identify the actors involved and software and data structures. Subsequently, interviews with developers will give an insight into the background of software design. Which problems should be solved by the programs? What feedback and priorities are given by the software? What ideals of good education and schooling are at the basis of development? Finally, ifib will conduct further interviews at several schools to investigate how the school information systems are used in practice.

Three Partners Involved

The Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Brunswick, Helmut-Schmidt-Universität in Hamburg, and the Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education  in Frankfurt am Main are DATAFIED partners. The research of the network partners is dedicated to the levels of the school authorities and the school itself, learning software and teaching, and teachers and pupils in the classroom. Overall, the project aims to provide a comprehensive and deep insight into the impact of digitization on schools. Schools in Bremen, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, and Potsdam are involved. At the end of the project, the research results will be discussed with participants in planned practical workshops in all participating cities.


Dr. Juliane Jarke
Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib)
at the University of Bremen
Tel.: +49 218 56-586


Pupils sitting in front of computers
Digitisation is moving into schools.