RM Education Announces Conformance Support for Interactive Whiteboard Common File Format

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Brenda Raker, Vice President of Marketing

RM Education

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braker@rmeducation.com

RM Education Announces Conformance Support for Interactive Whiteboard Common File Format

Hyannis, MA - June 1, 2011 - RM Education, worldwide supplier of outstanding educations tools, technology and services for K-12 schools, Smart Technologies and the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) announce the formation of an implementation workgroup to create a set of conformance tests based on the Common File Format (CFF) for interchange among interactive whiteboards (IWBs).

The CFF development was led by Becta in the UK during 2009-2010 and had support from many IWB suppliers with operations in Europe. The CFF has initial potential to ensure that there is the ability to exchange content created by the software provided by one IWB supplier to be rendered on an IWB provided by another supplier. In the longer term, the CFF may provide an interoperable format for 3rd party digital content providers, such as educational publishers, for publishing content to IWBs. IMS expects to have initial conformance testing and support for the current version of CFF in about 90 days. Once that is accomplished, an IMS IWB workgroup will be chartered to evolve the work.

"A single Common File Format allows schools to easily share resources and use interactive whiteboards from a variety of manufacturers without interoperability issues being a concern." remarks Kevin Pawsey, Managing Director, RM Education, "In addition, RM's commitment to sharing and interoperability is critical to our relationship with our OEM partners. RM is committed to helping teachers teach and students learn. By working with other manufacturers in the educational technology industry, we are removing unnecessary pain points for schools. Educators shouldn't have to worry that lessons they create today will become obsolete if their school changes hardware tomorrow."

"RM was awarded the Becta contract to create the CFF standard," comments Martin Hall, Education Manager, RM LightBox. "We firmly believe that a common standard for IWB content has many benefits for customers as well as vendors of this technology. This standard has the potential to open up markets and reduce cost to schools, governments and publishers. We have already implemented this standard in our Easiteach software and worked with other vendors to do the same. We welcome the IMS involvement to move this forward on a global scale."

There are three ways for interested organizations to participate in the IMS IWB work. All organizations are invited to review the public drafts and provide feedback via the IMS web site forums. Organizations that wish to participate in establishing the conformance program and participate in community testing/issue resolution can do so by supporting the CFF Alliance on the IMS web site. Product organizations that wish to support the global education community and evolution of IMS IWB work via the workgroup are invited to support IMS as a Contributing Member or Affiliate organization.

About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC): From Innovation to Impact IMS Global Learning is a nonprofit member organization that strives to enable the growth and impact of learning technology in higher education, K-12, and corporate education worldwide. IMS GLC members are leading corporations, higher education institutions, school districts and government organizations worldwide that are enabling the future of education by collaborating on interoperability standards and major adoption projects for the digital support of education and learning. IMS GLC also sponsors Learning Impact: a global awards program and conference that recognizes the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality. For more information visit www.imsglobal.org

About RM: Founded in 1973 in Oxford, England, RM is a worldwide leader in development of outstanding educational tools, technologies and services that engage students and inspire learning.  RM is one of Europe's largest and most respected suppliers of technology-based curriculum products for education, supplying thousands of schools in six different countries including the United States.  RM Education is the United States division of RM and is located in Hyannis, Massachusetts.  RM Education can be contacted at 866-728-6758 or on the web at www.rmeducation.com.