Connecting Learners and Museums through Educational Metadata Initiatives
Darren Milligan, University of Leicester, USA, Melissa Wadman, Smithsonian Institution, USA, James Collins, Oakland University, USA
Personalized learning involves standardizing and harnessing data being created about specific student learning strengths and weaknesses, and connecting those needs with appropriate learning content. To achieve this, galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs), as well as scientific institutions like zoos and aquariums, which already produce open educational content, need to improve the discoverability and retrieval of their digital resources. We must develop complete learning-appropriate descriptions of what we have and share this descriptive language with users in many settings. Two of the most promising programs to address this challenge are the schema.org metadata project, called the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative, and the Learning Registry, a federally created technology infrastructure for the distribution of such metadata and the consolidation of information about its usage. We discuss the history and impacts of both programs, share our methodology for implementing and evaluating a Smithsonian project in progress, and propose recommended next steps for GLAMs.