IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Conformance Support for Interactive Whiteboard Common File Format
SMART Technologies and RM providing leadership to establish conformance testing community and evolution of Becta CFF
Lake Mary, Florida, USA – 26 April 2011 – The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) today announced the formation of an implementation workgroup to create a set of conformance tests based on the Common File Format (CFF) for interchange among interactive whiteboards (IWBs). The CFF development was led by Becta in the UK during 2009-2010 and had support from many IWB suppliers with operations in Europe. The CFF has initial potential to ensure that there is the ability to exchange content created by the software provided by one IWB supplier to be rendered on an IWB provided by another supplier. In the longer term, the CFF may provide an interoperable format for 3rd party digital content providers, such as educational publishers, for publishing content to IWBs. IMS expects to have initial conformance testing and support for the current version of CFF in about 90 days. Once that is accomplished, an IMS IWB workgroup will be chartered to evolve the work.
“RM was awarded the Becta contract to create the CFF standard,” comments Martin Hall, Education Manager, RM LightBox. “We firmly believe that a common standard for IWB content has many benefits for customers as well as vendors of this technology. This standard has the potential to open up markets and reduce cost to schools, governments and publishers. We have already implemented this standard in our Easiteach software and worked with other vendors to do the same. We welcome the IMS involvement to move this forward on a global scale.”
“SMART Notebook™ collaborative learning software is used by millions of educators and students around the world,” says Linda Thomas, Vice President, Products, for SMART Technologies Inc. “Many of our customers already use the SMART Notebook Express web application (express.smarttech.com) and the SMART Exchange website (exchange.smarttech.com) to freely share their lessons and student assignments, but they also ask for ways to share files with colleagues in an open and portable format. The IMS CFF standard meets this customer need. SMART feels it is important to evolve the Becta CFF work to a standard through IMS. The IMS CFF standard will include verifiable testing to ensure customers can achieve the interoperability they expect.”
There are three ways for interested organizations to participate in the IMS IWB work. All organizations are invited to review the public drafts and provide feedback via the IMS web site forums. Organizations that wish to participate in establishing the conformance program and participate in community testing/issue resolution can do so by supporting the CFF Alliance on the IMS web site. Product organizations that wish to support the global education community and evolution of IMS IWB work via the workgroup are invited to support IMS as a Contributing Member or Affiliate organization. Please send inquiries to IWB@imsglobal.org
About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC)
From Innovation to Impact IMS Global Learning is a nonprofit member organization that strives to enable the growth and impact of learning technology in higher education, K-12, and corporate education worldwide. IMS GLC members are leading corporations, higher education institutions, school districts and government organizations worldwide that are enabling the future of education by collaborating on interoperability standards and major adoption projects for the digital support of education and learning. IMS GLC also sponsors Learning Impact: a global awards program and conference that recognizes the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality. For more information visit www.imsglobal.org