A year ago my boss said to me, "Jan, congratulations!  You are our new representative to the IMS and other standards organizations."  A week later I flew halfway around the world to Melbourne, Australia for my first IMS Quarterly Meeting in February 2005. 

As the newbie in the IMS Content Packagine specification Working Group I didn’t know what to expect.  My first day was spent sitting attentively while trying to absorb as much information as possible (think drinking from a fire hose).  On day two I joined the discussion of the fate of the "IsVisible" flag in the specification.  By the end of that afternoon I was named the new Working Group co-chair and my adventures had just begun.

IMS/GLC members live all over the world so most of our work is done via teleconference, email and Skype.  Rarely do Working Group members get to see one another face to face and that is why the Quarterly Meetings are so important.  Four times a year that members gather together and meet for five (or more) straight days to hammer out specifications, design details, demonstrate software, talk about best practices, learn about industry trends, and network.

Last week I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the more recent IMS Quarterly meeting.  This time around I got to meet the latest addition to the IMS/GLC – Rob Abel, the newly announced CEO of IMS/GLC.  Rob has been involved with the issues around eLearning for years as President for the Alliance for Higher Education Competitiveness and before that as a senior executive at Collegis (now part of SunGard).   

As a newbie it is Rob’s turn to drink from the fire hose.  It will be great to hear more from him and his plans for the IMS/GLC at the next Quarterly Meeting (May 8-12).  I’m happy that the IMS/GLC has found a candidate as experienced as Rob for the position of CEO and I am very excited about the direction he is planning to take the organization.

If you’re interested in learning more about Blackboard’s work with the IMS/GLC and other eLearning specifications we’ve got two sessions at Bb World 2006:

  • Blackboard Academic Suite, Standards and Open Source, Jan Poston Day, Wednesday, March 1 from 11:15 – 12:05pm
  • IMS Tools and Interoperability:  Synching Blackboard with Diverse eLearning Tools, Bob Alcorn, Wednesday, March 1 from 2:30 – 3:20pm.

I hope to see you in San Diego!

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