The LRMI: Front and Center at Frankfurt

On October 12, 2012, the LRMI took center stage at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair during the presentation, “Education Metadata: Why the LRMI Will Change Your Business.” Led by Michael Jay, LRMI Proof of Concept Project Lead and president of Educational Systemics, and Jason Henry, Global Product and Markets Manager for Learning Media, the session discussed the LRMI framework, its relation to Schema.org, and how it is likely to become the de facto tagging system for learning resources on the web.

To start the presentation, Jay asked, “So, why another metadata standard?” He answered this question by stating that the LRMI’s goal is to create a common set of descriptors that allow individuals to structure searches in a way that brings back more targeted results. He also noted that the LRMI’s connection to Schema.org will help this standard gain wide acceptance both locally and internationally. The education community will benefit because the LRMI will enable teachers and students to more easily locate the exact learning resources they need. Content providers will benefit from increased discoverability of their materials.

Jay noted that the LRMI enables:

  • search tools to find information specific to LRMI filter terms such as subject area, age range, standards alignment, and media type.
  • companies to create integrated search where an educator can describe a particular lesson and appropriate resources bubble to the top
  • platforms such as aggregators or portals to integrate catalogs of products
  • companies to provide rich, machine-readable context to their resources

During his presentation, Jay showed the LRMI video and discussed the “potato salad” example, which shows how results from a Google search on potato salad can be filtered using criteria such as ingredients, preparation time, and calories. Jay also discussed the LRMI project timeline, along with its integration with the Shared Learning Collaborative, which is creating shared data services that allow educators to use student data to better find resources tied to student needs.

Henry then discussed how Learning Media, New Zealand’s oldest and largest educational publisher, needs to make sure its products are reaching the market, as well as making sure that they are relevant to teacher support. After mentioning the many challenges facing the publishing market, such as competitors, relevance, and discoverability, Henry explained how the LRMI ultimately can help us reach the following ideals: 1) resources can be found more easily; 2) structured browsing, collecting, and linking of resources can happen; 3) resources can be better aligned and described against curricula and standards; and 4) education customers can be better engaged and informed.

Finally, Jay urged listeners to participate immediately in the LRMI, not only for the purpose of tagging their resources and making their content more discoverable, but also to provide input on the framework now, rather than later.

To learn more about the LRMI and why having a metadata strategy for your business is more important than ever, watch the presentation in its entirety here. The slides are also available here.