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Online Kentucky Learning Depot to Align to Common Core

The Kentucky Learning Depot, an online state repository of K-12 and postsecondary educational content, will be mapped to align with the K-12 common academic standards for mathematics and English/language arts, according to an announcement last week from education publishing partner Pearson.

The Depot, from which teachers can access digital materials ranging from multimedia presentations to audio documents, already has embedded metadata that labels items by grade level, subject, medium, and other variables. That system was created as part of a collaboration with the Florida Distance Learning Consortium and was funded in part by a grant under the federal Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, or FIPSE, according to Enid G. Wohlstein, the Depot's director.

Now Depot editors and librarians will be charged with adding tags to new and already submitted items that indicate which individual standards they address. And while there are no immediate plans to allow nationwide access, Wohlstein said it has been "sharing content, knowledge, and support with other states," notably with partner repositories in Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia, who along with Kentucky are members of the Southern Regional Education Board, or SREB.

In February of last year, Kentucky became the first of 43 states and the District of Columbia to adopt the common standards, which advocates for online and blended learning say will help spark more widespread digital learning. They note that the common standards have the potential to lift major policy barriers relating to geographic jurisdiction and thus promote online and blended learning models whose benefits include the ability to escape geographic constraints.

The Depot was launched in late 2009 by a collaboration of Kentucky's state education department, council on postsecondary education, and education professional standards board. Educators can add original resources under creative commons licensing and can configure the Depot as a resource library with Blackboard, Moodle, and ANGEL course management systems. The Depot officially falls under the jurisdiction of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and has been powered since its creation by Pearson's EQUELLA software, which is designed to allow access to contemporary digital content from legacy school and district computer systems.

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