How (and Why) to Listen to "Heavy Metal": IMS, OKI and other standards and specification projects


This session will explain the role of technology standards and middleware in facilitating the use of technology in teaching and learning. The aim of the session is to highlight efforts under way to enable the seamless exchange of learning materials, to describe why these efforts are important, and to place these efforts in the context of teaching, learning, and the culture of higher education. The presenters will also discuss how and why these highly technical initiatives raise many non-technical issues, including:
- policy issues (about campus account management, digital content licensing strategies, privacy, and security)
- pedagogical issues (because technology isn't necessarily "pedagogically neutral")
- support issues (because design that isn't responsive to higher education's needs increases the need for training and support)
Fundamentally, this presentation is about the "heavy metal" of technical specification and standards development, and why it is important for faculty and instructional technology staff in particular to attend to this development-and how to participate in an effective way-so that the needs of higher education are represented at the table.

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