form Coalition to Coordinate Activities
October 31, 2002
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and WASHINGTON, D.C. –
October 31, 2002 – Leading organizations developing specifications
for e-learning technology in higher education, schools, and technical
training are now working together to coordinate strategy and conduct
common activities. This informal coalition of the ADL Co-Laboratory
(ADL), the MIT Open Knowledge Initiative (O.K.I.), the Schools Interoperability
Framework (SIF), and the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) recognizes
ongoing informal collaboration among the participants. The group
intends to formalize its common activities and address shortfalls
in its collective support for adopters of e-learning standards and
technology across application sectors. Participation in the coalition
may expand if appropriate.
"This coalition is important for O.K.I. because
it will allow us to amplify the impact of O.K.I.'s results,"
said Vijay Kumar, Assistant Provost and Director of Academic Computing
at MIT. "The design and implementation that O.K.I. is generating
will address the needs of multiple communities, as well as improve
the quality and sustainability of e-learning for higher education,"
"Our coalition approach ensures that the
SCORM and related specifications will be broadly applicable,"
added Paul Jesukiewicz, Director of the ADL Co-Laboratory. "One
of ADL's goals is to facilitate the development of a standards-based
e-learning industry in order to lower the overall cost and development
time of e-learning products and services for participants in the
ADL Co-Lab. Recognizing the existing collaborative efforts among
these organizations and working to achieve better alignment to common
goals addresses our key objective. At the same time, it simplifies
the procurement process and increases the speed with which e-learning
can be adopted," he said.
"Participants in the SIF consortium benefit
directly from this coalition in two ways," observed Tim Magner,
SIF Director. "Working together with representatives from
other domains ensures that the special requirements of the K-12
educational environment will be addressed in creating general e-learning
standards. It also raises the likelihood that technology incorporating
those standards can be adopted and used in schools in order to improve
overall data management and provide educational experiences to children,
their teachers and the school community," he said.
"The O.K.I., ADL, and SIF have recognized their
growing need to organize and conduct joint activities at the same
time as each pursues its separate goals. While it is informal, the
coalition already has several concrete activities underway,"
said Edward Walker, CEO of IMS Global Learning Consortium. "We
are planning a joint workshop and conference to be held in June,
2003. We also are hosting developers networks at www.imsglobal.org/developers
to support discussions among users of O.K.I., SIF and SCORM, as well
as IMS specifications. Specific areas of technical integration are
the subject of on-going projects. The activities that the coalition
undertakes will follow from the functional needs identified in planning
and conducting our work," he said.
The Open Knowledge Initiative (O.K.I.) is defining an open and extensible
architecture for learning technology specifically targeted to the
needs of the higher education community. O.K.I. provides detailed
specifications for interfaces among components of a learning management
environment, to be used both by commercial product vendors and by
higher education product developers. It provides a stable, scalable
base that supports the flexibility needed by higher education as
learning technology is increasingly integrated into the education
process. Originally funded by the Mellon Foundation, the project
is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in close collaboration
with Stanford University, the University of Michigan, Dartmouth
College, North Carolina State University, the University of Pennsylvania,
the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University and the
University of Cambridge. More details are available on the O.K.I.
web site: http://web.mit.edu/oki.
The ADL Initiative is a collaborative effort between government,
industry and academia to establish a new distributed learning environment
that permits the interoperability of learning tools and course content
on a global scale. As a result of a unique partnership between the
Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Department of Labor and
the National Guard Bureau, the ADL Co-Lab has been established to
serve as a public and private sector forum for cooperative research,
development and assessment of new learning technology prototypes,
guidelines and specifications. The ADL initiative also created a
network of three ADL Co- Laboratories (ADL Co-Labs), to advance
the initiative and to serve distinct areas of operational responsibility.
The three ADL Co-Labs formed to serve in this network are: the Alexandria
ADL Co-Lab (Alexandria, Virginia); the Joint ADL Co-Lab (Orlando,
Florida); and the Academic ADL Co-Lab (Madison, Wisconsin). For
additional information about the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative,
contact the Secretariat, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of
Defense for Readiness, Readiness and Training, at email@example.com,
or visit the ADL website: http://www.adlnet.org.
The Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) is an initiative driven
by K-12 education technology providers and users to revolutionize
the management and accessibility of data within schools and school
districts. SIF enables diverse applications to interact and share
data efficiently, reliably and securely regardless of the platform
hosting the applications. SIF has united over 120 education technology
providers in an unprecedented effort to give teachers more time
to do what they do best: teach. For further information, visit http://www.sifinfo.org.
SIF is a division of the Software & Information
Industry Association (SIIA). SIIA is the principal trade association
of the software code and digital content industry. SIIA provides
global services in government relations, business development, corporate
education and intellectual property protection to more than 800
leading software and information companies. For further information,
The IMS Global Learning Consortium develops open technical specifications
to support distributed learning. All specifications developed by
IMS are available to the public without charge through the IMS web
site. IMS is a non-profit organization supported by members of a
worldwide consortium that currently includes more than 50 Contributing
members and over 70 Developers Network subscribers. The IMS in Europe
foundation supports IMS activities among European members. Information
about IMS specifications, on-going activities, and membership applications
are available on the IMS website at http://www.imsglobal.org.
For more information contact:
Vijay Kumar, MIT- O.K.I., +1 617-253-8004
Paul Jesukiewicz, ADL, +1 703 - 578-2971
Tim Magner, SIF, +1 202 - 289-7442
Ed Walker, IMS, +1 978 - 312-1082