McGraw-Hill Education Expands Efforts to Ensure a Fully Interoperable Future for the Education Technology Industry

Reaffirming its commitment to the industry-wide adoption of universal interoperability standards for education technology to help digital platforms and devices work together more readily, McGraw-Hill Education today announced that it has designated its Tel Aviv-area technology innovation center as its company-wide interoperability hub. The center will continue to ensure that all of the company’s current and future digital learning solutions adhere to the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) guidelines, the industry standard for edtech interoperability. A contributing member of the IMS and an advocate for open standards, McGraw-Hill Education aims to make its content open and searchable to anyone and to help make education technology more seamless and flexible for instructors and students everywhere.

Although digital education technology has become increasingly sophisticated over the past decade, there has been a proliferation of edtech tools and solutions that run only within specific operating systems and are therefore incompatible with one another. This lack of integration means that the promise of the real-time classroom – where data can instantly be processed and analyzed across students’ academic records – cannot be realized. By prescribing a set of universal protocols on which all new education technology will operate, the LTI guidelines promise to alleviate virtually every edtech compatibility concern that exists today. According to IMS Global, school technology leaders have already reported that LTI alignment routinely saves them more than 90 percent of the time that would otherwise be spent on custom software integrations.

“Interoperability allows technology to fade into the background and helps bring teaching and learning to the forefront,” said Stephen Laster, chief digital officer of McGraw-Hill Education. “Everything we know about what students and teachers want tells us that educators will almost always purchase technology from more than one company and that they want all of their educational tools to be able to work in harmony. That’s why we take interoperability so seriously.”

McGraw-Hill Education’s Tel Aviv technology center has been instrumental in the company’s interoperability work to date and will expand in the coming months, adding technology professionals from both within and outside of the education sector.

Edtech interoperability standards, once enabled industry-wide, will enable students and educators to run virtually any learning solution that they chose on any major learning management system. Further, it will ensure that all learning solutions will be capable of communicating with each other when appropriate. As the most widely accepted set of interoperability standards put forth to date, LTI promises:

  • Responsiveness to faculty and students: Instantaneous integration of a wide variety of learning tools, applications and content into the learning management system
  • Seamless single sign-on: A seamless online environment through a single sign-on learning portal for all users (teachers, student, parents, administrators), which means that all applications appear in one system
  • Exchange of outcomes data: Return of outcomes data and analytics across a wide variety of learning tools, applications, and content to the learning management system for immediate use by faculty or students
  • Ultimate community source sharing: Ability to share educational community-developed learning tools, applications, and content across vendor platforms
  • Efficiency: Every application interfaces in the same way, reducing the number of custom integrations required for product developers or IT specialists

In essence, an LTI-aligned edtech industry will afford educators near-complete technical freedom to select the digital tools that will best suit their individual needs, all while saving schools time and money that would otherwise be spent on patching infrastructural gaps.

McGraw-Hill Education has already successfully aligned many its premier digital learning solutions to the LTI guidelines. Of note is McGraw-Hill Connect, the online learning platform of choice for hundreds of colleges and universities around the country, which is now equipped to support any LTI-certified digital learning solution on the market. Additionally, McGraw-Hill Campus allows schools to integrate the company’s digital products, including Connect and McGraw-Hill LearnSmart, with any learning management system.

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