The Association of Educational Publishers and Creative Commons to Co-Lead Learning Resources Framework Initiative

Organizations are first to craft industry-specific metadata framework for improving Internet search results

The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons (CC) today announced a partnership to improve search results on the World Wide  Web through the creation of a metadata framework specifically for learning resources. This work is being underwritten with grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This represents the first industry-specific initiative since the recent announcement of Schema.org by major search vendors Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft Bing. Schema.org aims to create a universal framework for tagging web-based content to provide a faster and richer search experience. Google Shopping
and Google Recipes are two prototypes of how metadata is used to improve search results and their presentation.

The initiative to create a metadata framework for learning resources has already gained support from several leading commercial and non-commercial organizations. These include BetterLesson, Curriki, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), McGraw-Hill Education, Monterey Institute for Technology in Education (MITE), Pearson, Promethean, Scholastic Inc., and SMART Technologies Inc. The launch partners have agreed to contribute to the development of the specifications and to support their implementation.

Adoption of the education metadata schema by the search engines and by content providers will be voluntary, but because of the implicit support of the major search vendors and the participation of both commercial and non-commercial providers, widespread acceptance of the framework is anticipated.

“This is a watershed project for our industry,” said Charlene Gaynor, CEO of AEP. “It benefits both users and content providers because improved discoverability expands the market. Being part of the process with Creative Commons allows publishers   to address issues such as quality and suitability as dimensions of educational content.”

AEP and CC will co-lead the project for the learning resources industry with AEP handling communication and CC overseeing the development of the technical specifications. Both organizations will provide representatives to a working group convened and managed by CC. Once a draft framework is complete, it will be made available for public comment and review through a project website developed by AEP. Specifications are expected to be completed by February 1, 2012. The initial scope will at a minimum cover the Common Core State Standards for K-12.

“Educators and students miss out on education resources available online because it is takes too long or is too hard to find appropriate content,” said Catherine Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons. “A common metadata schema will make this search more efficient and effective so educators can quickly discover the educational resources they want, including those they can reuse under Creative Commons licenses. We’re delighted to be working with AEP. Together, we have the opportunity to overcome the challenges previous metadata efforts have encountered.”

If you are interested in finding out more about this initiative, please contact schema@AEPweb.org.  A list of media contacts for all launch partners has been provided with this release.

About Creative Commons (CC)
Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works, whether owned or in the public domain. Through its free copyright licenses, Creative Commons offers authors, artists, scientists, and educators the choice of a flexible range of protections and freedoms that build upon the “all rights reserved” concept of traditional copyright to enable a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach. Creative Commons was built with and is sustained by the generous support of organizations including the Center for the Public Domain, Omidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, as well as members of the public. For more information about Creative Commons, visit http://creativecommons.org.

About the Association of Educational Publishers 
The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) is a nonprofit organization that serves and advances the industry of supplemental educational publishing. The membership of AEP represents the breadth of educational content developers delivering progressive educational products and services in both print and electronic formats to today’s schools and colleges.

AEP’s thought leadership and market insight have created ground-breaking opportunities for its members to collaborate, network, and partner with each other as well as to acquire a voice in the development of government education policy. Founded in 1895, AEP now assists its members in navigating the global realities of educational publishing in the 21st century. For more information, please visit www.AEPweb.org.

About the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development, performing arts, philanthropy, and population, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

Media Contacts

Dave Gladney 
Marketing Manager
The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP)

Kati Elliott
President
KEH Communications

Jane Park
Education Coordinator
Creative Commons

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