FCR-STEM researchers play key role in new online registry that allows for sharing of educational resources worldwide

Florida State University researchers are playing a key role in the development of a new, federal, open-source system that will allow institutions from around the world to share digital teaching resources. Launched in early November, the new Learning Registry will make it easier for teachers and others mining the mass of online education resources to find the pedagogical nugget that meets their specific needs.

A joint effort of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Defense, the Learning Registry has been developed in collaboration with the Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (FCR-STEM) at Florida State and a dozen other organizations. FCR-STEM designed and built the CPALMS system, an integral component of the new registry.

Florida’s official source for K-12 curriculum standards and course and assessment information, CPALMS was launched in 2008 and funded along the way by both the Florida Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. It has become very popular with time-starved educators seeking online professional development, a way to collaborate with other educators and free, high-quality resources that align with curriculum standards. More than 10,000 visitors from over 176 countries and territories visit the site, on average, every day.

Among the other “early adopters” contributing to the Learning Registry are the National Science Digital Library, the Smithsonian Institution, NASA, the Library of Congress and PBS LearningMedia.

CPALMS project director Rabieh Razzouk was in Washington, D.C., in early November when U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra unveiled the Learning Registry.

“It’s an honor to be involved in shaping the Learning Registry during these early stages,” said Razzouk, associate director of Florida State’s Learning Systems Institute (LSI), which jointly administers FCR-STEM along with the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education. “The registry will not only expand the number of resources but make them available much faster to the educators who need them.”

This is particularly important as many states, including Florida, implement the Common Core State Standards, which set new expectations for what K-12 students learn in mathematics and English language arts.

“This is a major step toward helping busy teachers differentiate instruction and improve student learning on a large scale,” Razzouk said.

Although the ultimate beneficiaries of the registry will be K-12 teachers, their students and parents, these users will not access the registry directly. Rather, resource creators, publishers and curators from participating organizations will use it to share with each other lesson plans, photos, video, audio and other resources that in turn can be shared with their users through systems like CPALMS. Equally important, Learning Registry partners, working behind the scenes, will share information about those resources, including their alignment with curriculum standards, reviews, user feedback and other valuable data.

“Both the Learning Registry and CPALMS focus on efficiently sharing information and resources, and collaboration is key to both projects,” said Razzouk. “Throughout the development of CPALMS, we’ve worked closely with teachers, researchers, subject matter experts and Sciberus, the software development company that turned our vision into reality. As part of the new Learning Registry, CPALMS has an even more important role to play in helping educators nationally.”

For more information on CPALMS and the Learning Registry, contact Razzouk at (850) 644-2570 or rrazzouk@lsi.fsu.edu.


The Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (FCR-STEM) at Florida State University is a multidisciplinary research center created by the Florida Legislature in 2007. Its mission is to help the state of Florida improve teaching and learning in K-12 science, technology, engineering and math and prepare students for higher education and STEM careers in the 21st century. FCR-STEM is jointly administered by FSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Learning Systems Institute.

About the Learning Systems Institute

The Learning Systems Institute (LSI) at Florida State University is a multidisciplinary research and development organization that examines critical challenges facing society and designs innovative strategies to address them. The institute houses leading researchers in education, performance improvement and expertise and is organized into six centers, including the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) and the Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (FCR-STEM).


CPALMS is a collaborative platform that connects Florida education stakeholders, researchers, subject matter experts, practicing professionals and professional organizations to “Collaborate, Plan, Align, Learn, Motivate and Share” (CPALMS) resources and interactive tools that support standards-driven instruction. It isFlorida’s official source for information on curriculum standards, courses and assessment, and is a dissemination platform for professional development and digital resources.
CPALMS includes an interactive lesson planning tool, a peer and subject-matter expert review process, a dynamic and interactive curriculum planning system, a professional development system and many other components. It features more than 3,400 peer- and expert-reviewed resources and is growing at the current rate of 100 new resources per week. CPALMS is developed by FCR-STEM in partnership with educators from across Florida and the United States; Sciberus, a software development company; and other organizations. Primary funding for CPALMS is provided by the Florida Department of Education and the National Science Foundation.