IMS Press Release
For Immediate Release
Director of Market Development
For contact information for the other organizations, see: http://www.imsproject.org/press_contacts.html
Related statements from IMS members are at: http://imsproject.org/statements.html
Education on the Internet
takes Major Step Toward Standards with Release of Educom's IMS
Washington, DC. April 29, 1998.
Educom released today technologies that will support a new digital
economy for education. The technical specifications for how learning
materials will flow over the Internet, and for how organizations
and individual learners will manage the learning process, have
broad support among industry and among leaders in higher education,
training, government, and K-12 schools. Educom also made freely
available an example implementation of an instructional management
system that illustrates many of the specifications.
The goal of Educom's Instructional Management
Systems (IMS) project is the widespread adoption of a set of
open standards for Internet-based education. "We are proud
to have brought all the elements together that will catalyze major
changes in education," said Robert C. Heterick, President
of Educom. "Educom's membership, and the education industry
as a whole, will benefit when educational content and management
systems from different vendors can interoperate."
Mark Resmer, CIO of Sonoma State University
and IMS project director added, "The technical specifications
we are releasing today embody the requirements and best practices
of the 29 organizations that have invested in this project
and many other groups in education and training that have participated
over the last 15 months. This release represents a substantial
consensus throughout the learning and technology industries."
The example implementation will be demonstrated
tomorrow at the White House. The meeting will address how federal
agencies can take advantage of IMS to focus research and development
and how K-12 schools can benefit from adopting industry standards
as they move toward the goal of connecting all the nation's classrooms.
Tom Kalil, Senior Director at the White House National Economic
Council, praised Educom's work. "The IMS project will help
expand the market for high-quality educational software, which
is critical to the success of President Clinton's Educational
Technology Initiative. This project will also make it easier
for all Americans to update their skills by learning at a time,
place, and pace that is convenient for them - which is critical
in today's rapidly changing economy. We look forward to building
a partnership with this important group."
Twenty-eight organizations have made substantial
investments in the IMS project and continue active involvement
in the technical work, in advanced work with the example implementation,
as well as in internal development of products for the new digital
education marketplace. Statements from many of these members
are included with this release.
IMS investment members are: Apple Computer, Asymetrix Learning Systems, AT&T
Learning Network, @Learning, Buena Vista University, California
State University, COLLEGIS, COLLEGIS Research Institute, Committee
on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), Educational Testing Service,
Empower Corporation, Farance Inc., George Mason University, IBM
Education, International Thomson Publishing, KPMG Peat Marwick,
Miami-Dade Community College, Microsoft, National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST), Oracle, Simon & Schuster,
Sun Microsystems, Unisys, University of California, University
of Michigan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UK Joint
Information Systems Committee, and the US Department of Defense.
The specifications are being released for a
90-day period of public comment. After that period, they will
be submitted to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(IEEE) to begin the process of establishing an international standard.
NIST is assisting the IMS project team in developing a conformance
testing and certification program.
The IMS project is part of Educom's National
Learning Infrastructure Initiative with staff drawn from California
State University's Center for Distributed Learning, from the COLLEGIS
Research Institute, and from other member organizations. Blackboard
Inc. developed the example implementation under contract in collaboration
with other project members. IMS works with the Defense Department's
Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative providing technical
specifications to support their guidelines for distributed training
systems. Additional information on the IMS project can be found
in Washington, DC, is a non-profit consortium of 600 colleges
and universities and 100 Corporate Associates that facilitates
the introduction, use and access to, and management of information
resources in teaching, learning, scholarship, and research.
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