IMS Global Accelerates Adoption of Integrated Digital Curriculum

In December, I said that one of the seven problems we’d solve in 2015 was data integration, particularly combining formative feedback from multiple sources. While it may not be the silver bullet, nonprofit IMS Global Learning Consortium announced the creation of the K-12 Open Tech Ecosystem Initiative with the support of leading suppliers and districts to create an interoperable ecosystem of educational apps, digital resources and learning platforms to make it easier for schools to access preferred applications, content and resources without custom integrations. The IMS announcement includes two resources OneRoster and a how-to guide.

IMS Global worked with leading districts and suppliers to create a new interoperability standard, called OneRoster, to simplify the exchange of roster data by eliminating the need for multiple custom formats. OneRoster gives a school district control over the use of its data. It’s being used by Orange County Public Schools, Brevard Public Schools, and Houston Independent School District.

To promote rapid adoption, IMS is offering fast track implementation of OneRoster, to obtain IMS Conformance Certification and to help evolve the specification to meet market needs.

“We contractually oblige providers of curriculum, tools and platforms to be certified to the IMS Global OneRoster standard. It significantly simplifies how we exchange student information with a wide range of digital resources, thus eliminating the time-consuming process of creating custom student-data files,” said Orange County’s Maurice Draggon, Director of Instructional Management Systems. “As a result, it is easier for us to enable a truly integrated digital teaching and learning experience.”

The guide, How to Transition to Integrated Digital Curriculum Using IMS Standards, provides an overview on how to put IMS standards in place to establish an open architecture to support digital curriculum, tools and use of data to improve student success.

When discussing integrated curriculum, the guide refers to seamless access, integrated signon, learning context, outcomes data, search, and export.

The guide outlines three steps to integration:

  1. Using a Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) certified platform;
  2. Using Common Cartridge as the tagging standard for content and assessment items; and
  3. Using OneRoster for unified rostering.

Houston ISD was featured in the guide (and in our EdTech Buyer’s Guide).

“The IMS standards are a critical component of Houston ISD’s digital transformation. Not only do IMS Global standards create a more effective teaching and learning environment, they also provide effective and economic solutions. Historically, HISD has built customized rostering integrations to suit each learning tool vendor’s individual needs, an extremely expensive, time-consuming and resource-intensive approach. Now that we have adopted IMS Global’s OneRoster standard, we anticipate reducing requirements gathering and development time by 75-95% for new rostering integration requests.”

“As districts transition to digital they need an ecosystem of interoperable digital curriculum, tools, apps and learning platforms that they can rely on to achieve “plug and play” integration in a few simple steps,” said Rob Abel, CEO of IMS Global Learning Consortium.

For more check out:

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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