On the Current Status of the National Education Platform

Prof. Ulrike LuckePotsdam (GER), May 2023 - In April 2021, a consortium coordinated by the University of Potsdam began developing the Bildungsraum Digital (Digital Learning Space) project, or BIRD for short. In the context of the German government’s Digital Education Initiative, BIRD is the first of four prototypes for a future national education platform and makes possible the testing of structures for data exchange, the interoperability of various platform types, and the implementation of standards. Prof. Ulrike Lucke, the BIRD project’s head, will elucidate the status of the National Education Platform, 24 May at 15.00 as part of the Digital University session at LEARNTEC.

According to the BIRD consortium, its goal is the development of a technical solution that can establish a Europe-wide connection linking Germany’s current and future learning platforms across all of the Continent’s educational sectors. This will build on the members’ experience in the realms of interoperable solutions in higher education, student mobility, and furnishing Open Educational Resources.
In the development of this prototype, the heterogeneity and federal structure of Germany’s education system will be respected, and the autonomy of the actors and platforms will be preserved. Networking that which already exists should facilitate access to educational programs across educational sectors. The platform prototype to be developed will provide learners access to guidance, information, and learning opportunities for their individual learning paths.

On the basis of Open Source Software, the BIRD project is developing an initial reference prototype for a technical backbone of the digital learning space in anticipation of the efforts in further prototypes. The BIRD Lab will create an incubator and experiment space for prototypical applications of the digital education platform. It will provide an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to test next-generation technical possibilities and prepare these for implementation in the platform.
Prof. Lucke explained the approach: "We want to respect the autonomy of the individual systems and network them in the background. A good comparison here is a city - each has its own road network, but there are many vehicle manufacturers with various models. However, it is the roads that are the load-bearing component for everything. It's similar with the National Education Platform."
The development of this prototype for the National Education Platform is supported by a strong alliance of stakeholders from universities, civil society, and the business world. The collaborative partners are

  • University of Potsdam, Chair for Complex Multimedia Application Architectures
  • DAAD e.V*. (German Academic Exchange Service), Bonn and Berlin
  • Technical University of Berlin
  • Society for Scientific Data Processing mbh, Göttingen
  • g.a.s.t e.V.* (Society for Academic Study Preparation and Test Development, Bochum
  • edu-sharing e.V.*, Weimar
  • Bündnis für Bildung e.V.* (Alliance for Education), Berlin
  • MathPlan GmbH, Berlin
  • Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg

* "e.V." = incorporated association