Here comes a plethora of online tools and instructional materials to help meet the Common Core standards, making for some overwhelming options for teachers and students. More than 7 in 10 educators search for instructional resources at least several times a week, but only one in four educators describes his or her searches as “usually successful,” according to a July survey report.
The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), created by the Association of Educational Publishers and Creative Commons, is a framework for describing educational content and products on the web. It seeks to increase chances of discovering useful education materials, such as problem sets and lesson plans. Similar to an online shopping tool that allows users to search by size, color, or price, the LRMI will provide filters on search engines that allow teachers and students to conduct targeted searches for learning resources. For example, a teacher could search “adding fractions worksheet,” and then filter results by age level, expected completion time, or Common Core alignment.
“I like to characterize it as a foundation for next-generation educational technology tools,” says Dave Gladney, LRMI project manager. “The goal is that it will make Common Core resources easier to find, and help in the implementation.”
But the LRMI is still in a development phase. A consistent tagging procedure will make it easier for educators to find useful material online, and is necessary for the framework to have an impact, Gladney says. So publishers of the content, from major textbook companies to teachers who posts their own lesson plans on a blog, need to begin virtually “tagging” materials so they can be searched through the framework. Publishers will pay to tag their materials, but it will be free for teachers and students to search for them. Gladney hopes to have an abundance of both Open Educational Resources (OER) and commercially-published materials, which educators may have to pay to access depending on the publisher’s rights. After resources are tagged, the company will need a search engine that filters results.
“We’re still in the early stages, establishing the LRMI and building awareness,” Gladney says. The organization is creating guidelines for publishers on how to tag material, and will soon be launching an online knowledge base with support and tutorials, and holding regional workshops.
To learn more, visit www.lrmi.net.