The U.S. Departments of Education and Defense announced last night the launch of “Learning Registry,”an open source community and technology designed to improve the quality and availability of learning resources in education. The launch is an important milestone in the effort to more effectively share information about learning resources among a broad set of stakeholders in the education community.
“Learning Registry addresses a real problem in education, by bridging the silos that prevent educators from sharing valuable information and resources,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The Registry also allows content developers, curriculum coordinators, principals, counselors, and everyone else who supports good teaching in the classroom to benefit from the combined knowledge of the field.”
The project was made possible by a $2.6 million investment, with the Departments of Education and Defense contributing $1.3 million each to the effort.
Rather than creating an alternative destination to existing websites, Learning Registry is a communication system that allows existing educational portals and online systems to publish, consume and share important information about learning resources with each other and the public, while respecting the privacy of individual users.
Basic data about resources—grade level, subject area and author—can be shared through Learning Registry, as well as more complex data such as curricular standards alignment information. This platform for innovative data sharing also allows user activities to be shared anonymously, such as the types of educators who find a specific resource particularly useful (e.g., elementary teachers, or those focused on working with migrant students, etc.).
The Learning Registry community and technology are intended to create opportunities for future innovation in areas that are just now starting to be explored. The project is an open, community–supported activity – any organization or individual can contribute to or use the technology. Learning Registry technology's open source license permits integration into other open projects, and in commercial applications.
The project is a voluntary collaboration among many organizations that want to share more and new types of information about learning resources with one another and the public. Federal agencies participating in the Learning Registry community, in addition to U.S. Departments of Education and Defense, include National Archives and Records Administration, Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution. Private sector organizations collaborating on the project include PBS, National Science Digital Library, Agilix, Institute for Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), BetterLesson, Benetech, Booz Allen Hamilton, JISC UK, European Schoolnet, Achieve, and JES & Co. State and local governments involved in the project include the Florida Department of Education's CPALMS project and the California Department of Education's CTE Online and Brokers of Expertise projects supported by the Butte County Office of Education/CADRE in California.
A recording of the event will be made available on the U.S. Department of Education's website (www.ed.gov). For further details about Department of Education's involvement in Learning Registry and related initiatives, please contact the Department's Office of Education Technology. For further information and contact with collaborators using Learning Registry, visit the community website www.learningregistry.org.