Social Network of Learning Resources – Learning Registry
Learning Registry a framework to facilitate the exchange of data to share resources, as well as information about how those resources are used by educators in diverse learning environments across the Web. Led by Dept. of Ed, White House as well as numerous other government agencies and marketplace providers.
The Learning Registry provides a platform with which any person or application can “surface” or uncover the best possible learning resources for any given topic, experience, and audience. The system facilitates the sharing of metadata and paradata about content in order to simplify the process of helping users find distributed digital learning content online. It works “behind the scenes,” by providing a logistical network (an “interstate system” for learning resources) that allows data about learning resources to travel among a federated set of nodes.
The Learning Registry’s logistical network simplifies the process by which developers can create interfaces for search and discovery and rating of resources. This network enables educators to post, annotate, and review resources for broad pickup by other educators. It facilitates the exchange of ratings and opinions about the usefulness of those resources as well as their alignment with the Common Core and other state academic content standards. The idea is that teachers will continue using the same applications and websites they currently rely on; they’ll just have broader reach because those applications and websites can leverage the data through the Learning Registry.
Google Chrome Plug-in
One example of a tool created to take advantage of the Learning Registry is a plug-in for the Google Chrome browser. This plug-in acts as a “collector” to permit anyone to open up their data via the Learning Registry. The collector organizes the workflow for the user to rate online learning resources from web pages through menus that use rubrics developed by Achieve (achieve.org), a non-partisan education reform organization. The user can also delineate how resources are aligned to Common Core and state academic content standards. To access the resources via the plug-in, the user: 1) installs the plug-in to the Chrome browser; 2) sets up a registry “identity” with occupation, grade level, and areas of interest; 3) navigates to a web page containing access to a learning resource; and 4) aligns the resource, rates it, and publishes that data to the Registry.
Resource Distribution Network Model
The core of the Learning Registry is the network of loosely connected master-master synchronizing broker nodes distributing resources, metadata and paradata. Consumers and producers (edge node consumer and producer agents) connect to network nodes to inject information into the network or to extract information for external processing.
The network model is defined in terms of nodes, their services, the assembly of nodes into resource distribution networks, and the structuring of networks into communities. This two-tiered model of networks and communities supports security requirements for partitioning of resource data between different communities.
Network Nodes and Node Services
A node is a server process with network connectivity to either other nodes or to edge services. Nodes process resource data (e.g., network messages about resources, metadata, paradata, etc.).
- Publish Services
- Access Services
- Distribution Services
- Broker Services
- Administrative Services
A resource distribution network is a group of one or more connected nodes, with each node providing node services. All nodes in a resource distribution network operate under the same policies. Multiple resource distribution networks MAY be established.
Two types of network nodes and connectivity within a network are defined:
- Common Node: A common node MAY provide any of the node service classes listed. If provided, the distribution services of a common node SHALL be limited to connecting to other nodes in the same network (the distribution service MAY connect to multiple destination nodes).
- Gateway Node: A gateway node SHALL provide a distribution service. A gateway node MAY connect to one or more common nodes within the same network. A gateway node SHALL connect to and provide resource distribution to a gateway node in another network. A gateway node MAY provide administrative services. A gateway node SHALL NOT provide publish, access or broker services.
A network community is a collection of interconnected resource distribution networks. A community MAY contain one or more resource distribution networks. A resource network SHALL be a member of only one community. Gateway nodes provide the connectivity between resources networks within a network community and MAY provide connectivity between networks in different communities.
Two types of network communities are defined:
- Social Community: A social community provides connectivity to other social communities. For example, the Learning Registry is a social community; other social communities may connect to the Learning Registry community. The Learning Registry community might consist of multiple networks and gateways.
- Closed Community: A closed community provides no connectivity outside of the community. A network within a closed community SHALL NOT connect with another network within a different community.
The Learning Registry encourages creation of applications to help communities of educators share what they think about digital resources. A hard part of that information sharing — the exchange of those ratings among a multitude of sources—can be handled by the Learning Registry. The Learning Registry collects and shares “assertions” (such as ratings, comments, and usage data) about learning resources through the federated metadata/paradata exchange within its logistical network.
Information about a resource that describes it, such as what form the item takes, who created it, and who it’s intended for. The use of metadata tags—details—allows a resource to be found or discovered.
Descriptors that capture information about a resource’s activities—how it has been used and by whom, including ratings of usefulness, alignment, and quality.
Usage Examples of Learning Registry
- Alignment of digital resources to state academic content standards
- Connection of instructional improvement systems to content indexed by the Learning Registry
- Trusted peer ratings on usability and student engagement
- Sharing of learning resources among education portals and repositories
- Trends reporting on resource usage
- Amplification of availability of resources developed by government agencies
Fox, C., Schaffhauser, D., Fletcher, G., & Levin, D. (2013). Transforming Data to Information in Service of Learning. Washington, DC: State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA).