Microsoft Corp. and members of the eLearning community announced support for Learning Resource Interchange (LRN), the first commercial implementation of the Instructional Management Systems (IMS) Content and Management Systems Specification developed by the eLearning industry and the IMS Global Learning Consortium. LRN is an XML-based schema that defines course content, allowing organizations and eLearning providers to easily create and manage compatible online learning content. LRN helps customers maximize their investment in eLearning by enabling a wider range of interoperable content and applications than currently exists today. A number of eLearning companies announced support for LRN. These include content developers such as The Forum Corp., NETg and SmartForce, as well as eLearning platform and services companies such as Blackboard.com, Cambridge Technology Partners, Centra Software Inc., Click2learn.com Inc., DigitalThink Inc., eCollege.com, Eduprise.com, Information Management Group (IMG), IntraLearn Software Corp., KnowledgePool, Pinnacle Multimedia, SmartForce, Southrock and WINeducation.com. Microsoft also announced that online learning content from Microsoft Press, Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and Microsoft Official Curriculum would support LRN in all forthcoming content. To provide content and technology partners with the information and tools required to create LRN-compatible products and content, Microsoft has released the LRN Toolkit 1.0. With it, organizations can easily create, edit and update content structure using any standard XML editor, including Microsoft Office. The toolkit is available now and includes the LRN Viewer, LRN Validator and LRN Samples, including two LRN-compatible eBooks from Microsoft Press and an MSDN developer course on Windows 2000. The Microsoft LRN Toolkit 1.0 is available for free download at www.microsoft.com/elearn/. Additional information on the IMS Content Package Specification can be found at www.imsproject.org/

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