Digital Education Space (German: Bildungsraum Digital, BIRD) is the first of four prototypes for a future national education platform in Germany. It enables the testing of structures for data exchange, the interoperability of different platform types and the implementation of standards. With the planned National Education Platform, the digitization push in the education sector will be accelerated, supported nationwide and professionalized.
BIRD builds on experiences with interoperable solutions in the field of higher education, student mobility and the provision of Open Educational Resources (OER). The project aims at a European interconnectable technical solution for linking existing and new educational platforms across all educational sectors. The aim is to facilitate access to educational offerings across educational sectors by linking existing resources. Learners will be able to access guidance, information and learning opportunities for their individual learning paths within the platform prototype to be developed.
BIRD will also prototype other planned functions of the National Education Platform:
Facilitate transitions between educational sectors and institutions by enabling learners to securely store data, materials, and credentials digitally and access them in changing learning or teaching contexts. Open interfaces will make it possible to collaborate in digital learning and working spaces across different educational sectors and institutions.
The goal of the reference prototype developed with open source software is to develop a technical backbone of the digital education space in anticipation of the development of further prototypes. BIRD will enable the integration of existing portal solutions and learning offerings, and will also act as an incubator and experimental space for prototype applications of the digital education platform. Researchers and practitioners will have the opportunity to test next-generation technical possibilities and prepare them for implementation in the platform.
During development, the heterogeneity and federal structure of the German education system will be respected and the autonomy of all participants and platforms will be maintained.
Our task in the BIRD project is essentially to support the networking and connection of OER infrastructures. Here we can draw on the extensive experience we have gained in designing scalable OER infrastructures at national as well as European level in the JOINTLY and Up2U projects. In the JOINTLY project, recommendations for action and standards were developed together with stakeholders in this field, which deal with the networking and interoperability of educational infrastructures. These are currently used in various OER projects and enable easy data exchange between platforms.