IMS Global Announces the Educational App Store Project


Project Aimed at Creating a Reference Implementation Based on Marketplace Open Standards

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Lake Mary, Florida, USA – 9 April 2013 - Can universities and school districts control their own online “store” of educational content and applications for easy access and use by students and faculty? Yes they can - and they will in only a few short years. Will such an “app store” be based on Apple, Google or Amazon?  No it will not.


The “take it or leave it” proprietary vertical integration strategies of consumer-oriented providers of digital books and applications, that maximizes their ability to create revenues from sales of such resources, have left educational institutions with a conundrum. Do we dare dictate to our students and teachers a “preferred platform?” Of course, the answer to that question needs to be “no.”


The good news is the majority of educational content and applications is not beholden to any of those consumer platforms. Leading providers of educational resources have instead rallied around open standards provided through community collaboration via the non-profit IMS Global Learning Consortium.  The IMS web site contains many examples of education segment specific applications and content that can be easily integrated into the academic enterprise using these open standards.


“Unfortunately the large suppliers to the consumer market don’t have much interest in the special requirements of educational institutions,” remarked Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive of IMS Global. “However, the educational segment is more than capable of guiding its own destiny with respect to making digital resources ‘work’ for the needs of their stakeholders. By working together to solve this problem, institutions reap huge savings by not becoming dependent on closed solutions.”


The Educational App Store Project has begun a design phase in which IMS member institutions are collaborating on requirements and user scenarios. Initial participants include Framingham State University, UCLA and University of Michigan. Initial designs will be presented at the IMS Learning Impact 2013 Conference, May 13-16, San Diego, CA, USA.


After the design phase completes it is expected that the IMS member organizations will collaborate on creating a reference implementation that will enable suppliers and/or institutions to easily replicate the model. Open APIs, based on IMS standards, will be provided to enable options for including content from the proprietary sources mentioned earlier, as well as resources built natively to use IMS open standards.


If interested in participating in the project, please contact IMS at: appstore@imsglobal.org

About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global)
IMS Global is a nonprofit organization that advances technology that can affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment. IMS members are leading suppliers, institutions and government organizations that are enabling the future of education by collaborating on interoperability and adoption initiatives. IMS sponsors Learning Impact: A global awards program & conference to recognize the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality.