Departments of Education and Defense Team up to Launch $2.6M Learning Registry

Last week the Departments of Defense and Education announced the launch of a new education resource called the ‘Learning Registry.’ The idea is for the Learning Registry to be “an open source community and technology designed to improve the quality and availability of learning resources in education.” To call it a database of resources would be a bit of a disservice as the site is designed around community and collaboration between educators, administrators and organizations.Funded by a $2.6 million investment, half from Dept. of Defense, half from Dept. of Education is a hefty price tag, but the project creators see it as a first step down a long path of innovation. Their official press release for the site launch states that “the learning Registry community and technology are intended to create opportunities for future innovation in areas that are just now starting to be explored.”

We’ve seen a lot of innovation in this space recently, such as the Washington State Board’s Open Course Library which we covered a few weeks ago or Curriki , a K-12 open learning resource which got a $3M donation 2 months ago. It’s very exciting to see this kind of money being dedicated to making education materials available for free, but these kinds of resources really are just the first step.

The next steps are more crucial and less obvious. For one, what will be done with these resources now that they are available? It’s really up to educators to use these resources to their full potential, and beyond that for state boards of education and the Dept. of Education to help integrate these resources into the way students are taught. It really seems like we are seeing the groundwork laid for big changes, but availability of resources is not enough and structural changes to the way school districts buy and manage educational resources is a crucial next step.

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