Digital transformation affects all social levels and fields, as well as the education system. It is hardly prepared for the changes and meets them primarily on the basis of the personal commitment of its teachers. Structural reactions to the lack of high-quality further training, poorly equipped classrooms and computer systems that are not professionally maintained have only recently emerged. However, while persistent efforts among educators are also widespread, the transformation of the school system requires a new mindset and new forms of work and cooperation.
Contemporary teaching requires modern technology and modern IT architectures. Only systems that are effortlessly available for teachers and students, user-friendly and didactically flexible will find acceptance in schools. For this purpose, we have developed the HPI Schul-Cloud. It provides easy access to the latest professionally maintained applications, a wide variety of digital media, the networking of different learning locations and the legally compliant use of communication and collaboration tools.
The development of the HPI Schul-Cloud is all the more necessary because legal requirements – particularly those arising from the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – make it impossible to use cloud applications, which are common in modern working places, in schools. The most common educational applications are to a large degree technically outdated and not user-friendly.
This deficiency forces federal states to develop their own costly applications with expenses in the tens of millions – projects that have partly failed. Thanks to the modular micro-service architecture, the federal states will be able to use the HPI Schul-Cloud as the technical basis for their own or joint projects in the future. The aim here is to create a sustainable structure for the further development of the open source software HPI Schul-Cloud.
This report describes the development status and further perspectives of the HPI Schul-Cloud project in January 2019. 96 schools across Germany use the HPI Schul-Cloud, provided by the Hasso-Plattner-Institute. A further 45 schools and study seminars use the Niedersächsische Bildungscloud, which is technically based on the HPI Schul-Cloud. The project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is currently being rolled out until July 31, 2021. Together with our cooperation partner MINT-EC we aim to use the HPI Schul-Cloud possibly at all schools in the network.