According to a new survey data speaking volumes about educators’ search experiences(report here), educators often find the process of conducting online searches for educational resources frustrating, and publishers wish their materials were more easily discoverable through online searches.
The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative(LRMI) is working to make it easier to publish, discover, and deliver quality educational resources and products on the web.
Led by the Association of Educational Publishers and Creative Commons, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the LRMI has developed a common metadata framework for describing or “tagging” learning resources on the web. This framework is a key first step in developing a richer, more fruitful search experience for educators and learners. Once a cricital mass of educational content has been tagged to a universal framework, it becomes much easier to parse and filter that content, opening up tremendous possibilities for search and delivery.
The LRMI project was spurred by the announcement last year of Schema.org, a project by Bing, Google, and Yahoo! to create a standard way of tagging online content. While not directly connected, Schema.org created the opportunity for projects like the LRMI by establishing a standard markup schema for general web content and then encouraging specialized communities and industries to extend this schema to meet their needs. It is the hope of the LRMI leadership that the metadata schema developed by this project will be incorporated into Schema.org and become the de facto standard for tagging educational resources on the web.
AEP organized a free workshop called the Metadata Lab in conjunction with the AEP/AAP Content in Context conference. The Lab took place June 4, 2012, and covered education data standards from the highest level (such as the Common Education Data Standards) down to the details of LRMI. (find the slides from the day here) And you could dig deeper by reading Everything You Need To Know About LRMI.