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Searching for Educational Resources Online Is About to Get Much Easier

Thanks to a Creative Commons joint project, students searching for "chemistry" online won't get sent to a dating site.

One of the frustrating things about search engines has always been the random hodgepodge of results you get after you click "search." That's especially true for people looking for educational resources online. If you type in "chemistry," links to dating sites pop up as well as a whole host of science-related content. Now Creative Commons and the Association of Educational Publishers are teaming up to establish the Learning Resources Framework Initiative a common education content framework which hopes to provide better search results for learning-related material on the web.


“Educators and students miss out on education resources available online because it takes too long or is too hard to find appropriate content,” Catherine Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons said in a press release. To solve this, the LRFI "will make this search more efficient and effective so educators can quickly discover the educational resources they want, including those they can reuse under Creative Commons licenses."

The joint project will categorize and curate online education information in a way that's reminiscent of old-school card catalogs. Last week, the major search engines Google, Yahoo, and Bing agreed to standardize formatting tags, so educators searching for content will have a common experience no matter what engine they use. The LRFI ambitiously hopes to have online content for the common core standards for K-12 math and English indexed by this fall. But, the project won't rate content found through searches. Deciding which site provides the best information will still be left up to people.

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NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

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