Pearson today announced Project Blue Sky, a cloud-based, content service that provides instructors with easy access to Open Educational Resources (OER). Pearson is partnering with Silicon Valley non-profit Gooru, a search engine for learning materials, and will leverage Gooru’s powerful search capabilities to build applications that seamlessly integrate high-quality learning resources on the web, including OER, with instructor-created and Pearson content. Faculty will also have the ability to publish their customized digital course content within multiple types of learning management systems, including Pearson’sOpenClass and LearningStudio.
With the anticipated beta launch in spring 2013, Project Blue Sky will directly address barriers to adoption of digital material and Open Educational Resources. According to a soon-to-be-released report from Babson Survey Research Group, faculty reported that key challenges to adopting OER include the lack of a single, comprehensive catalog of content, and concerns about too much time spent finding and evaluating the material.
“The creation of Project Blue Sky is an extension of Pearson’s shift to developing innovative services that provide rich and engaging teaching and learning experiences,” said Don Kilburn, Vice Chairman of Pearson Higher Education. “Working closely with an education technology non-profit that is committed to providing access to high quality content for every student, and institutional development partners, we are empowering faculty to have control of the selection of a wide variety of text and rich media assets.”
Pearson is collaborating closely with 13 faculty on Project Blue Sky’s design to provide an optimal experience that lets faculty identify the most relevant and high quality content for their courses. The Project Blue Sky Pilot group is reviewing the content service and building unique multimedia eTextbooks for use in their courses.
“As an educator, I am constantly seeking out effective course materials, and I usually have resources in many places that are easily lost,” said Sarah Strout, Department Coordinator & Assistant Professor of Psychology, Dominican College. “The potential of the Blue Sky platform is enormous because it will give me control over the course materials and save me much time spent frantically searching and vetting OER content on the web. I can pull information from lots of sources and compile all my materials in one spot.”
“Students and faculty are increasingly relying on digital learning resources and would like to spend more time learning rather than sorting through millions of videos and websites for a given topic,” said Dr. Prasad Ram, CEO of Gooru. “The integration of content from Pearson and high-quality web resources from Gooru in a single platform provides immediate access to the most appropriate learning resources for Pearson users.”
Pearson is currently piloting the system with Psychology faculty, and is actively seeking more development partners in other disciplines. For more information on how to become a development partner, visithttp://www.pearsonbluesky.com.
To see a demo of Project Blue Sky, visit the Pearson booth #1423 at EDUCAUSE on Wednesday, November 7th at 6:00 pm in the Exhibit Hall.