This week the IMS Global Learning Consortium announced the 2020 leadership awards to recognize those who have gone above and beyond and “make significant contributions to developing IMS standards, and provide benefits for members and supporters to enable the future of education by collaborating on interoperability standards and major initiatives that improve the digital teaching and learning ecosystem.” (https://www.imsglobal.org/IMSLeadershipAwards.html)
So why is this announcement so uplifting to me? I am not an IT person, nor am I an educational technologist. I am simply an end-user benefitting greatly from the transformative work that has been done in that arena. I have had the privilege of working with two of the award recipients: Mustafa Sualp, CEO of AEFIS, and Ozgur Yogurtcu, AEFIS Chief Technology Officer. While I cannot claim to understand how they make the magic happen, I have a deep appreciation for what drives them to do this work. I have witnessed first-hand their desire to support and improve the resources that facilitate quality in education.
The expertise that Mustafa and Ozgur bring to the world of learning technology is undeniable. However, what makes them so exceptional to me is their ability to LISTEN. They afford a great deal of their time to hearing from their partners in education to understand how their resources will be employed. I have sat with them for many hours expressing specific needs in the realm of assessment and accreditation. They heard me and responded with sophisticated, but eloquently simple solutions… And then they listened some more with a commitment to continuous improvement.
Mustafa, Ozgur, and their team at AEFIS have concretely demonstrated their desire to support communication among colleagues in the world of learning technology. AEFIS titled their Academy (https://www.aefisacademy.org/) YOUR Center for Communities of Practice. While AEFIS developed and drives this resource, it is clear that ownership in the dialogue is shared. AEFIS invites us all to be contributors to an ongoing conversation that inspires innovations in support of teaching, learning, collaboration, research, and assessment. While they are playing host, they are also listening and learning.
When I saw that IMS Global honored Mustafa and Ozgur with leadership awards, I was most certainly uplifted. It means that the importance of their work is recognized and celebrated at a worldwide level. We should all be excited. It means we can expect more great things to come!
Please join me in congratulating Mustafa and Ozgur on their prestigious award.