I’ve had the privilege of working in educational technology for about 15 years, and during my tenure I’ve seen lots of organizations that have had a big impact on the way educators use technology. Few have had as much impact as the IMS Global Learning Consortium, which is why I’m happy to announce that I was recently elected to its board of directors.
The work that IMS Global has done to drive educational technology standards is extraordinarily important for how institutions are approaching their educational strategies. Its work provides a foundation on which innovative products can be deployed and work together and makes it easier for vendors to create integrated solutions. In my role leading the Teaching & Learning strategy for Blackboard, I have a vested interest in supporting the work of this important educational consortium. I plan on leading Blackboard’s effort to take an even stronger position than it has in the past.
Today’s educational needs are sophisticated and diverse. From Blackboard’s perspective, the days of simply leveraging a Learning Management System (LMS) are gone. They’ve been replaced by a need to rely on distance and online learning as an integral part of a larger educational ecosystem. Institutions now use a variety of products to fulfill their educational missions, and they serve a wide range of constituents and use cases – from very basic to very sophisticated. The work that IMS Global is doing is designed to make sure these disparate and innovative products can work together.
Blackboard has worked closely with the IMS member community for many years by supporting IMS standards through product development initiatives. In fact, support of educational standards is a core tenant of Blackboard’s Openness Story. We have adopted and obtained IMS Conformance Certification for a full range of IMS Global Learning Consortium standards, including the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®), Common Cartridge®, and Caliper Analytics®. We also support Learning Information Services (LIS) integrations with major SIS providers. Blackboard will continue to do more.
But Blackboard’s support of the IMS goes beyond just our products. Over the years, members of our senior leadership have been active participants in IMS advisory boards and standards committees. I’m simply the latest Blackboard executive to serve in this capacity.
I’ve been involved in standards work around ed-tech in some capacity since 2003, and I’m delighted to be able to bring my years of industry knowledge and expertise to help provide leadership to the work of the IMS. In fact, one area that I hope to help the IMS is in their growth internationally, where Blackboard has a big presence and I have spent the last 3 years managing our growth. As a first step, I’ve invited Dr. Rob Abel, the Chief Executive Officer of the IMS, to co-present with me on IMS initiatives at our upcoming Teaching and Learning Conference 2017 in Milan, March 21-24, 2017. It’s just one of the many ways I plan to support the IMS’ important work.