Well, while there is no way to know for sure, I would put good money on IMS Global being the most rapidly going of any major tech standards consortium around the world. Indeed, most tech standards organizations we know of are at best flat to down – some way down. Unfortunately, many other education-related standards activities have perfected the art of treading the same old tired waters of highly restrictive standards created by a few "standards experts" rather than the marketplace.
Bucking the trend, 2015 was another year of record growth for IMS Global Learning Consortium. IMS added 65 net new members bringing the total member organizations to 339 at end of year. As many of you know, IMS had a total of 50 members in early 2006. So, in 10 years we are roughly at 7x and, of course, are adding more members a year now than we had total in 2006.
Why is IMS growing so rapidly? IMS is a key factor in sector advancement in several very important areas: scalable adoption of digital learning tool/app/platforms, learning analytics, digital educational credentials/competency-based education, e-assessment and integrated digital curriculum.
What is the effect of this growth? IMS is having a very positive impact on the educational technology sector. And the reach is growing. In 2015 IMS presented 50 times at major events! Not counting our own. Almost 1000 people attended IMS events in 2015. IMS continues to grow its collaboration with high quality partners such as EDUCAUSE, APLU, AACRAO, Internet2, CNI, C-BEN, ISTE, CoSN, The Council of Great City Schools, IDPF/ePub, W3C, Mozilla Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
At least as important is the amazing uptake of the IMS standards in the EdTech sector. Believe it or not, there are now over 70 learning platforms (of a wide variety) that are IMS certified as consumers of LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability). There were a total of 157 conformance certifications issued by IMS in 2016 – roughly 3 a week! Here are now more that 375 products that have been certified. You can take a look at the new Product Directory section of the new IMS web site, available at imscert.org.
Speaking of the new web site: Wow! Lot’s of work for all concerned – but well worth it. It is a lot easier to understand the IMS Initiatives and IMS Technical work, not to mention the different opportunities for membership, supplier leadership and institutional leadership.
All of this is possible because of the leadership and investment made by the IMS Member Organizations. IMS is primarily about one thing: The education sector leading and taking responsibility for the shape of the EdTech ecosystem of the future. Everyone invests a little and gets a lot in return by collaborating on the open EdTech ecosystem.
I am very pleased and proud of the breakthroughs the members are making every day! 2016 is going to be another great year as the open EdTech ecosystem continues to grow and revolutionize the ease with which innovation can make its way in education institutions around the world.
2015 was so busy that I found it difficult to find time to update the blog. Fortunately, IMS’s growth has allowed us to add some great staff, in addition to those you already know and love. I’m hoping to write more frequent, brief blog posts to let you know about the IMS Global priorities and accomplishments.