In a rapidly changing educational landscape, educators require access to innovative and high-quality professional development material throughout the entire scope of their professional careers. Districts, schools, and teachers face significant challenges accessing the professional learning support they need because resources are housed across an increasing number of professional and commercial websites and they are not described with a common language. Quite simply, although there is a growing corpus of quality professional development material available, teachers cannot easily access the resources they need.
There has been considerable work in recent years around developing structured language and metadata frameworks for educational materials, including the LRMI extension to Schema.org. However, there are currently no structured descriptive metadata frameworks for professional development materials and services. The metadata specification envisioned in the Innovative Professional Development Discoverability project will address this gap and provide the means for content and service providers to tag their resources in a manner that makes them discoverable. The specification will be designed to make it possible for teachers to identify resources that match their professional learning needs across the entire course of their educational careers. As such, the specification will be designed to provide a common language for identifying and describing essential qualities around teacher professional development and practice.