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Ecosystem of Learning Platforms, Apps and Tools Ecosystem of Learning Platforms, Apps and Tools

Many higher education and K-12 institutions are moving beyond "one size fits all" towards next generation digital learning environments that support greater personalization of educational experiences by creating a technology foundation that allows for the seamless integration of digital technologies and products--as pointed out in this article--Shaping the Educational Ecosytem. Moving towards next generation learning environments can be daunting because many institutions lack the resources to invest adequately in instructional technology innovation. The good news is there is a way for institutions of all sizes to accelerate progress via collaboration to create the future of teaching and learning and the required supporting technologies.

What type of collaboration will advance innovation while reducing unnecessary costs?

Education needs to leverage the power of an open ecosystem enabled by community-governed standards that allow an institution to quickly and easily customize their edtech environment, thus creating a teaching and learning environment that enables and supports creativity and customization. Such an environment would reduce investment on repetitive integrations, lower barriers to entry, and focus investment on educational innovation to improve outcomes.

The IMS Global community of higher education institutions, K-12 districts, government agencies, and edtech suppliers are working together to enable academic transformation by creating an expansive digital ecosystem of interoperable products for the purpose of advancing educational innovation. An ecosystem that no one contributor owns, but all contribute.

K12
For most school districts there is a compelling need to enable easy access to a wide variety of digital curriculum assets that are thoughtfully curated. IMS standards such as Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®), Thin Common Cartridge® and OneRoster® have revolutionized the time, cost and agility by which a rich collection of digital assets can be easily accessed through a variety learning platforms and which securely connect your with external learning tools, confirm the tool’s credentials, and exchange information in a teaching and learning workflow.
 
The IMS K-12 community is leading the way by developing and evolving the K-12 Digital Learning Revolution Program. The Revolution Program empowers school districts and other K-12 organizations of all sizes and needs to evolve their digital ecosystem for a better return on learning from their investments in digital curriculum as well as other forms of educational technology. In addition, IMS member institutions have developed the K-12 Statement of Intent to Adopt IMS Global Learning Consortium Standards and other procurement resources to help district and school leaders to require IMS certification from their suppliers, helping to better the edtech landscape.

Single Sign On, rostering, and access to digital resources through integrations such as Thin Common Cartridge are not just IT areas of concern. These are core areas that have instructional impact when they are not implemented consistently with standards. That is why I am happy so many publishers have worked with IMS Global on the plug and play edtech revolution.

Maurice Draggon

Maurice Draggon

Director, Curriculum, Instruction and Digital Learning, Orange County Public Schools

Higher Ed

Institutions of all sizes struggle to maintain the number of integrations and different functions between their learning environment and digital tools costing them valuable resources and negatively impacting the teaching and learning experience. The IMS HED community is focused on a new generation of leadership in which IT and academic leaders make known to suppliers the integration, privacy and business requirements needed for their institution to support a sustainable, cohesive edtech ecosystem.

Institution leaders have come together to endorse the need for edtech suppliers to commit to the adoption of LTI Advantage as the preferred industry standard for learning product integration to streamline integrations, provide a secure and trusted exchange of bi-directional data, and provide support for key functions to enable a higher quality learning experience for faculty and students. Institutions are also looking to suppliers to adopt Caliper Analtyics and Open Badges to help institutions make progress towards academic transformation. Like with the K-12 community, the higher ed member institutions have developed procurement resources to help institutions acquire digital tools, apps and content that are IMS Conformance Certified, making it easier for faculty to innovate. A product directory of all IMS certified products is available at www.imscert.org.

 

UCF is a strong supporter of interoperability standards and active in developing the kinds of innovations they enable. Participating in a community of like-minded institutions is an important part of disseminating what we have learned and learning from the innovative work of others.

Thomas Cavanagh

Thomas Cavanagh

Vice Provost for Digital Learning, University of Central Florida

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