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Making Content Searchable and Discoverable for Educators -- the new Learning Resources Metadata Initiative (LRMI)


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Educators look all the time for "learning resources" to use in their classrooms. These can be books; often they are.

Up until now, that "discovery" process has generally taken place as a sales interaction. K-12 publishers have sales reps and catalogs and introduce their wares to educators through schools and districts. Teachers can try to identify learning resources through conventional web search, but they often don't find what they're looking for.

The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) has set out to fix this problem. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the LRMI has proposed a metadata tagging protocol that could help teachers find resources more easily on the web. The LRMI proposal has been submitted as an extension to, the consortium of Microsoft Bing, Google, Yahoo!, and Yandex currently working toward standardizing metadata on the web. A number of publishers have already begun tagging their resources with LRMI metadata as part of a test program.

The LRMI will benefit not only educational publishers but trade publishers as well, since it will create a level playing field on the internet for all publishers with educational content who take the trouble to tag it properly. In other words, the LRMI will present trade publishers an opportunity to penetrate the education market -- without a huge new marketing initiative -- with metadata.

Neal Goff, who has long experience in both trade and educational publishing and is a past president of the Association of Educational Publishers, will explain the LRMI and talk about what trade publishers ought to be doing to keep their eye on it.

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Making Content Searchable and Discoverable for Educators -- the new Learning Resources Metadata Initiative (LRMI)

  1. 1. The Learning ResourcesMetadata Initiative (LRMI) Presented by Neal Goff,President, Egremont Associates Publishers Launch January 2013
  2. 2. What is LRMI?• Effort to develop unique metadata standards for educational resources• Includes properties that educators and educational publishers have identified as key for discoverability  E.g.: Subject area, intended grade level, alignment with curriculum standards• Goal is to make it easier for educators and other interested parties to find learning resources to meet specific student and class needs
  3. 3. What problem does it solve?• Educational publishing does not have agreed- upon metadata standards (e.g., nothing comparable to BISAC)• The proliferation of digital materials makes discoverability even more challenging than it’s traditionally been• The increased availability of free educational resources on the Web raises the priority for educational publishers to have their copyrighted materials easily discoverable
  4. 4. Who is behind LRMI?• Leadership  The Association of Educational Publishers  Creative Commons• Funding sources  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  William and Flora Hewlett Foundation• Buy-in from the major search engines  LRMI extends microdata markup conventions recognized by Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex
  5. 5. If it works…• Educational resources will be easier to find• Structured browsing and linking of resources will happen more easily - Within collections - Between collections• It will be easier to align resources with curricula and standardsLRMI is not intended to supplant schemas already inuse, but to work with existing metadata
  6. 6. The LRMI Properties v1( Terms:• Title/name • Publisher• URL • inLanguage• Description • Mediatype• Image • TechnologiesRequired• Topic • TechnologiesRecommended• Created (date) • Use RightsURL• Creator • Is based on THE TOWER OF BABEL, PIETER BRUEGEL, 15636
  7. 7. The LRMI Properties v1 (cont’d)(• Educational Terms: • Competency– IntendedEndUserRole related:– EducationalUse – EducationalAlignment– TimeRequired – Description– TypicalAgeRange – URL– InteractivityType – AlignmentType– LearningResourceType – EducationalFramework – TargetDescription – TargetName – TargetURL
  8. 8. Recommended values for one element• Learning resource type:  Activity  Kinesthetic  Robotics  Audio  Lab Material  Still Image  Broadcast  Manipulative  Video  Calculator  MBL  Wiki  Discussion  Model  Worksheet  E-Mail  On-Line  Lesson Plan  Field Trip  Podcast  Test  Hands-on Presentation  Quiz  In-Person/Speaker  Printed www.lrmi.net8
  9. 9. Proof of Concept • To prove that it can work, the organizers needed to see what it would take for publishers to begin tagging to the LRMI • Early participants in the tagging process included:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  McGraw-Hill  Pearson  Better Lesson  CK-12 • 22 publishers are now actively participating • 3,000+ resources tagged by end of February www.lrmi.net9
  10. 10. Proof of Concept: Next Steps• Continue to tag resources from publishers• Document best-practice tagging steps  Publisher implementation guides in development – target release in February• Generate recommendations for features/functions of next-generation tagging tools• Create service providers kit with defined services• Increase number of participating publishers• Shift from doing tagging to support publishers tagging www.lrmi.net10
  11. 11. If you’d like to play…• Go to and sign up for the mailing list• Join the LRMI Google Group:• Keep an eye out for LRMI sessions at Tools of Change, SXSWedu, ISTE• Follow LRMI discussion on Twitter: #LRMI• Contact AEP’s LRMI Project Manager, Dave Gladney, at