K-12 & Statewide

In Focus

Member Spotlight

This month we are excited to spotlight Colet Bartow, Senior Manager of the Teaching and Learning Department at the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Colet co-chairs the CASE Network Advisory Board and through her thought leadership, the CASE Network Advisory Board expanded to include all states interested in and publishing their states’ academic standards in CASE format. Looking ahead to 2022, CASE Network is poised for major traction and, in many ways, we can thank Colet’s passion, enthusiasm, and hard work for helping CASE Network build momentum.

We had the opportunity to ask Colet a few questions about her experience as a member of the IMS community.

Why did you decide to become an IMS Member?

It was the right connection at the right time!

I had been researching how to publish our state standards about the same time that the CASE specification was being developed. I got connected to Bruce Umpstead when he joined IMS and immediately knew that the professional community that IMS supports would be beneficial to our state education agency—not just for CASE, but for improving our data systems and providing guidance to Montana schools as they mature their educational technology ecosystems.

The value of the statewide membership has literally paid off with support for RFP language, access to edtech suppliers, and unique connections to other state education agency professionals.

How has your work changed in the last year?

It has become so clear that educational technology has to mature and support students and teachers wherever they are and however they need to learn.

Helping school personnel make good decisions about how to keep all learning going in remote and online environments has really taken on a level of priority that has made my job even more rewarding. Educators in all roles—paraprofessionals to district trustees—now have even more reason to learn about the power of educational technology to support learning.

I’m grateful for that awakening and hopeful that through IMS we will keep the momentum going.


Colet Bartow

Montana Office of Public Instruction

What information would you share about the work you do on the CASE Network Advisory Board?

I was originally so excited to jump in with the launch of the CASE specification in order to see what would happen with suppliers and other states.

We are now seeing an explosion of innovative uses of CASE along with CLR, LTI, QTI, and all of the other standards. This is what I hope others who are interested in working with competencies and standards will continue to follow—the convergence of specifications across products and systems in innovative ways that affect learning.

The CASE Network Advisory Board allows states, suppliers, and the IMS technical staff to talk through implementation challenges and opportunities to innovate. I learn something every time I meet with this group!

Do you have advice for your peers that are interested in getting more involved with CASE?

My advice is to join and participate in IMS at the membership level they can sustain and that provides them with the information that is most useful to inform projects or programs in their state department. Take a look at the many, great explainer videos on the specifications AND study the product directory to be aware of which suppliers have made a full commitment to interoperability standards.

What is one thing you want someone to know for them to truly understand who you are?

I care a lot about how I do my work so that it paves the way forward--maybe more than what the work is in the short term—and I care even more that the people I work with are supported, recognized, and honored for all they do as we look toward the future.