IMS Global Announces 2014 Learning Impact Report
Explosion of Micro-usable Apps and GPS-like Products Paving the Way for Student Success
Lake Mary, Florida, USA – 21 October 2014 - The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global) released today the 2014 Learning Impact Report. This report provides analysis of the winners of the 2014 Learning Impact Award program, an annual competition that was created in 2007 by IMS Global for the purpose of recognizing outstanding applications of technology that address the most significant challenges facing the global education segment. The 2014 Learning Impact report identifies five key trends that can help institutional leaders determine whether their institution, district or state has considered a wide range of potentially impactful technology innovation.
The 2014 Learning Impact Report recognizes a growing ecosystem of educational apps that is enabling rapid integration of innovative learning tools to provide teachers and students with greater flexibility and choice to build personal learning experiences. The 2014 award winner in this area featured the implementation of SpeakApps at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya to enable language learners to practice their speaking competences in a foreign language conveniently online. Another notable entry was Hoot.Me, an app developed to enable communications between Facebook and a Learning Management System.
The emphasis on improving student success has been growing in both K-12 and postsecondary environments for decades as stakeholders increasingly question the amount of investment in education and a lack of return to demonstrate that student outcomes are improving. As a result of an explosion of funding in the educational technology segment, we are beginning to see a range of products emerge with similar qualities to GPS systems in helping students map the most efficient way to accomplish goals like completing a degree. Two examples of this trend taking hold in the postsecondary segment are the Tennessee Board of Regents for their implementation of Degree Compass as part of an overall strategy to use predictive analytics to enhance the rate of academic success and Austin Community College (in partnership with Civitas Learning) for their implementation of Degree Map to provide advisors and students with an easy way to access and compare academic degree requirements, enabling personalized learning pathways.
Another interesting observation is that gaming is often referred to as an emerging area of experimentation that is 2-3 years away from broad adoption in education, but in reality gaming isn’t necessarily a new technology. In fact, games have been a commonplace part of the education experience for several decades. Gaming that we know today simply has a new face to turn game play into virtual learning environments to stimulate experiential learning. The 2014 award winners in this area are Lightmare Studios and The Gordon, who teamed up to deliver broadband-enabled traineeships in an interactive game design for tenth and eleventh grade students. At the Florida Virtual School they have been utilizing the social construct of Grom Social to achieve a higher engagement level from students ages 5-16.
The evolution of robust digital learning networks that are scalable and flexible is a trend that IMS has been tracking for over eight years that continues to show great potential for enabling personalized learning. This trend is partly driven by learning platform innovation and the evolution of the LMS to be more open, but also by the increased market adoption of IMS standards to provide the necessary architecture to support a connected learning environment comprised of multiple platforms. The 2014 award winners in this area are the Florida Virtual School for the development of a Content Automation Tool (CAT) to alleviate the administrative burdens of maintaining multiple internal LMS platforms while streamlining the maintenance of content and improving efficiency of internal processes, Southern New Hampshire University (in partnership with Blackboard) for extending the McGraw Hill Education building block to include automated course provisioning and to centralize user pairing to remove instructor involvement from the course setup process, and Beijing Normal University for creating the Learning Cell Knowledge Community using semantic ontology technology to organize learning resources that can also be attached with social cognitive network properties to support resource construction, knowledge management, and organizational learning.
Another trend observed from the analysis of the finalists is that scaling pedagogical knowledge and practice to help teachers innovate in the classroom is gaining significantly in K-12 via new digital platforms. One such example is at Newton County Schools in Georgia (in partnership with SAFARI Montage) installed video classroom technology systems throughout the district following a successful pilot program that showed an increase in teacher effectiveness, decreasing student misbehavior by 58%.
“Our goal for the Learning Impact Report is to attempt to make sense of the knowledge gained from the cumulative analysis of Learning Impact winners since 2007 and to provide a better understanding of technology projects that demonstrate potential for improving access, affordability and quality of teaching and learning,” said Rob Abel, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of IMS Global. “Because of the unique aspect of the Learning Impact Awards program to evaluate the use of technology based on learning impact evidence, we are able sort through the hype to help institutions make more effective institutional investments in technology.”
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Learning Impact Awards competition. All global submissions are due by December 12, 2014. Nominations for the 2015 Learning Impact Awards can be submitted at http://lili15.imsglobal.org/awards.html.
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 the Learning Impact Leadership Institute, a global program focused on recognizing the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality while developing the people and ideas that are going to help shape the future of educational technology. www.imsglobal.org