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Federal “Learning Registry” for Digital Materials Launched

Released roughly one year ago, the U.S. Department of Education’s 2010 National Education Technology Plan (http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010) called for the development of “an open-standard registry of all content developed by various agencies throughout the federal government so that states, districts, and schools can access and leverage it and combine it with their own repositories of content.” The department fulfilled that recommendation and more last week with the launch of the Learning Registry.

Funded by a combined investment of $2.6 million by the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense, Learning Registry provides “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… 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…” (For more from the launch press release, please see: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/departments-education-and-defense-launch-learning-registry-tools-and-community)

Essentially, digital learning resource repositories, faculty community sites, learning management systems, and so forth that incorporate Learning Registry will facilitate sharing of information about digital learning resources across all of the participating entities. Users of one Learning Registry-enabled repository will be able to search across all Learning Registry sites for different types of materials relevant to a particular subject or discipline, but they will also be able to access information about how the materials have been used in different instructional settings and to what degree of success (as rated by the instructors/users themselves).

Established as an open, community-based system, any organization or individual interested in contributing to the Learning Registry's development can, and anyone can incorporate the Learning Registry framework into their site or platform. To learn more about Learning Registry, see the array of agencies, organizations, and companies involved thus far (e.g., PBS, the Smithsonian, Booz Allen Hamilton, the Florida and California Departments of Education), and get information about participating in the Learning Registry community, please visit www.learningregistry.org.

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