The Learning Registry – Education Datapalooza

And now a few words from another one of our
sponsors, Richard Culatta from the Department of Education. Richard. Thanks everybody. I’m really very excited to be here and there
are so many great things that are happening. How do you top that, right? There are so many wonderful projects that
are going on and it’s a lot of fun to see what happens when we have so many smart people
working on the same problems. It’s also neat to see how exciting and fun
data is. If people when I was in high school knew how
fun data was I would have been a lot more popular back then. But we won’t talk about that much now. Up until this point one of the things that
we have been talking about specifically is data about people, about learners, about students
– very, very important data. But I want to talk about another type of data
that’s also important. And that is data about content – digital content. As we transfer from print to digital we have
all kinds of wonderful opportunities opening up in education; simulations, new documents,
and images, and source documents – many of which are available for free because they’re
available under open licenses. But there is a challenge here, and that is
the fact that these materials are scattered all over the place, all over the web. And it’s very hard to find them. It turns out that traditional search engines
aren’t set up very well to find digital learning content – especially if you’re trying to search
for it by standards. It just isn’t how they’re build – it’s not
what they’re meant to do. So we end up putting a huge burden on teachers
(and parents and students) to try to find the right materials by searching through all
of these millions and millions of resources that are out there. One of the approaches that we tried to make
this better was saying, “what if we make portals?” “what if we grouped these content areas into
content repositories where teachers could go and search and find it?” Well there are problems with that too, because
even though when you go to the portals you do a better job of searching, the search does
not return results from any of the other portals – and there are thousands of them. So teachers still have to go from one to the
next to the next and we place a huge burden on teachers again. What if… What if we could flip that around and instead
of putting the burden on teachers to find content we made it so the content found the
teachers that needed it? Teachers would be much happier as well as
parents and students who would be able to use their content and find just their right
match for what they need. Let me talk about a really exciting initiative
called the Learning Registry. Learning Registry is an open directory – a
way where sites and portals like this can publish the information about their content
to a common place. They don’t move the content there, they just
say “here’s what we have” and if there’s information that they know about it like. “here are standards that it’s aligned to”
it’s also able to share in there and then once all of these different sites are created
to Learning Registry you could do a search in any one of those and return results from
across all of them. And let’s say, for example, that Thinkfinity
happens to know that the video up there is aligned to a particular Common Core standard,
and that same video is down here in the NASA repository but they don’t know about that
content alignment that was made in that one system, by connecting through the Learning
Registry that information can be shared. Very, very cool. It get’s even better because the learning
is an open platform. People can build apps on top of it. So you could have an app, for example, that
allows teachers to rate the quality of content and that rating information could then go
to all of the places where that content is stored across multiple portals. You could have another app that let’s teachers
make suggestions about what content area – what standards – a particular resource is aligned
to. And most importantly you could have an app
that says “based on what we know about you, we can tell what content will make the most
sense for what you’re trying to teach.” So if I’m a fifth grade teacher teaching science
to predominately English language learners, I can get recommendations by other 5th grade
science teachers teaching predominantly English language learners on what content worked for
them – which is going to be a very different recommendation that then science teacher across
the hall teaching 6th grade predominately English language speakers. And so you see this is a very, very powerful
platform. What does this mean? It means that for states it becomes much easier
to share content alignment. Right now many states across the country – especially
as we transition to common core – are going through and trying to make these decisions. Trying to get recourses aligned so that teachers
have the materials that they need. Today, if they’re not using Learning Registry
if a state makes 100 assertions (takes 100 pieces of content and says “there are what
they’re aligned to”). If every state does that, every state has
a total of 100 aligned resources to standards. If, on the other hand, they use Learning Registry,
and still make just those same 100 alignment assertions, each state will have 5000 aligned
pieces of content. Very, very efficient. Now for publishers, the Learning Registry
allows you to share once and everybody can have access to it. Instead of saying “we’re going to make a connection
to share these videos with this school, and this place, and this site” they can say “we’re
going to share once to the Learning Registry and anyone who wants access to the content
can pull it out of the Learning Registry.” Developers can build awesome apps. All of those apps that we just talked about
– those are open to anybody who is creative enough to come in and say “here is what we
should be able to do with content.” By the way, folks like Dominion Enterprises
that have been just doing a Learning Registry hack-a-thon building all kinds of great new
apps to sit on top of this platform. Teachers can access the exact right resources
that they need based on customized recommendations and researchers can start to identify what
content is most effective for teaching certian groups of people particular content standards. Very, very proud of the folks that we already
have publishing metadata into the Learning Registry – these are just some of the great
publishers that we have partnering to publish content into learning registry. And, I’m particular excited to say that we
have announcements of additional Learning Registry content that will be in the Learning
Registry in the very near future. Curriculum Pathways is a great program that
many of you are familiar with that is going to be there soon. Thinkfinity and their partners have committed
to having their content available in the Learning Registry as well. So, a very, very exiting time. UEN is a great story that you will hear about
in just a minute so I won’t say any more about that. Let me end by saying that Learning Registry
is an open project, as I stared. Which means that it only works when people
like you and people that you know participate. So if you are a content publisher, help us
by putting the metadata about your content into the Learning Registry. if you’re a developer, build really awesome
apps to help teachers and parents and students find the content that you need. And help us share this idea so that we can
really transform the way people access the content that they need to be successful in
learning. Thank you very much.

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