The Ministry of Education of Luxembourg has implemented an educational portal using BEA technology, and Daniel Weiler, a professor at the Center of Technology for Education, discussed what they’ve learned over the 5 years since first implementation. They had a vision 5 years ago of a digital learning place that was accessible anywhere on any type of device, with many social computing aspects such as collaboration, that provided access to eLearning and other educational content, using single sign-on authentication and security, and different personalities depending on whether it was a teacher, student or other type of participant. Today, these requirements are no big deal. Five years ago, in an educational environment, it was a bit more revolutionary.
Weiler did a live demonstration of the portal from a teacher’s viewpoint, which provides access to educational content such as MSN Encarta, internally-created documents, email, collaboration communities, and services such as forms creation. They’ve built and integrated a number of custom applications, such as resource scheduling and library management. In the student-facing version of the portal, they have eLearning collaboration spaces that include direct Skype links to teachers as well as content specific to a certain subject area.
Each school can have a personalized extranet portal that is hosted under the mail mySchool portal, but has its own look and feel, including navigational structures; he showed examples of an elementary and a primary school that looked and behaved completely differently, but were based on the same platform. They also have a media gallery with both photos and video on various arts, literature and other topics, all managed and accessible through the portal platform.