From the perspectives of education decision makers, the importance of sharing can’t be stressed enough for common benefits. The Learning Registry is designed to make sharing much easier in a digital world. With the Learning Registry, many kinds of information about learning resources can be shared efficiently. It’s an open source technical system designed to facilitate the exchange of data behind the scenes, and an open community of resource creators, publishers, curators, and consumers who are collaborating to broadly share resources, as well as information about how those resources are used by educators in diverse learning environments across the Web.
The Learning Registry began as a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Defense to widely share information about learning resources from federal repositories such as the Smithsonian, the National Archives, and the Library of Congress. It has since evolved into a mechanism for freeing up data and building ways to connect information from more disparate organizations and user communities.
Many educational organizations already have portals and repositories that serve curriculum specialists and teachers. In contrast to these Web destinations, the Learning Registry is like a road network that helps cars and trucks— information — get from place to place. The Learning Registry helps deliver the learning-resource information created by one site to another and thereby enables each site to find information about resources contributed by others.
Generalized search engines are not optimized to answer questions that are important to educators such as, What resources are available to teach a specific topic to a particular set of students? What kinds of students are those resources suitable for? Are any standards associated with those resources?
The Learning Registry enables sharing and aggregating resource usage data across disparate systems and platforms. As educators interact online with portals and repositories, they generate useful information about resource usage and contexts of use, such as how often a resource is downloaded; what sort of users downloaded it; the classroom context the resource was used in; and for what kinds of students it was used. In the digital resources sector, this special kind of “big data” is called social metadata or paradata, and these terms refer to data about how the resource is being used (in contrast with metadata which describes unchanging features of the resource). For resources to be used and reused effectively, this kind of information must be shared widely and pooled or aggregated across many users, systems, and platforms. The Learning Registry infrastructure enables this sharing.
As many states adopt the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics, the potential for sharing across state borders will expand dramatically. This sharing of standards alignment data represents a unique opportunity to accelerate the shift to digital learning. This white paper from SRI international : Building a Network of Resource-Sharing States gives a detailed explanation on how it works with examples and current focused works, licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA.
Learning Registry for State Decision Makers and Strategists
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