EDUPUB Workshop Report
Over one hundred attendees participated in the two-day workshop (Boston, October 29-30), including leaders from all parts of the education publishing value chain (publishers, vendors, educational institutions, NGOs), representing over seventy participating organizations. Links to presentation files are now available within the final agenda, and meeting notes are also available.
The overall tone for the conference was set by the opening keynote and closing remarks made by Dr. Dan Cooper (SVP, Pearson), who articulated key requirements for next-generation education publishing including structured authoring and assembly tools, clean separation of structure and style, the need for “output-ready” standards to replace “intermediate” standards and an open ecosystem that fosters innovation while eliminating unnecessary variations in delivery formats that provide no competitive advantage and compromise interoperability. As part of jump-starting this effort Dr. Cooper announced that Pearson would be submitting to IDPF a proposed EDUPUB output profile of EPUB 3.
Other EDUPUB presenters included day two keynote Jeff Jaffe, CEO W3C who showcased a broad vision for more complete integration of publishing and the Web, as well as senior leaders from AMAC, Benetech, Blackboard, Carson-Dellosa, CETIS, CourseSmart, DAISY, Evident Point, Google, Harvard Business School Press, IDPF, Imagineering, Inkling, IMS Global Learning, Metrodigi, NCAM, Nook Media, O’Reilly, Pearson, Sophia University, W3C, Wolfram, LRMI, VersaPub, and Vital Source. In addition to Pearson’s imminent submission of a proposed EDUPUB semantic profile, two other EPUB enhancement proposals submittal announcements to IDPF were made by members during the workshop, encompassing widgets (Metrodigi) and document collaboration (VersaPub) capabilities .
The next steps summarized at the workshop’s conclusion by program co-chairs Markus Gylling (DAISY/IDPF) and Paul Belfanti (Pearson), and affirmed by attendees, include eleven specific point projects that will be pursued in the coming year to foster development of a unified, standards-based output format based on and compatible with EPUB 3 and integrating relevant learning-specific data and metadata constructs such as LRMI, accessibility guidelines such as WAI, and data exchange standards such as QTI and LTI. Additional activities to advance these point projects are expected to be announced soon by the EDUPUB workshop organizers including a second EDUPUB workshop to be held in February, 2014 and a forum for coordinating ongoing work on the EDUPUB initiative among the relevant standards organizations and other supporting stakeholders.