EduCIoud Alliance (ECA) is a business-oriented alliance that is based on open technology. It aims to build a nation-level ecosystem focusing on international awareness, which connects users, purchasers, developers and service providers of learning services. The alliance promotes and builds the digital market of learning technology and content by building a common open standard for learning environments, materials and activities to facilitate the open provision, sales, finding, comparison and use of educational cloud service products and contents. It allows digital learning materials to be produced, acquired and deployed on online learning platforms or other learning network services in an easier manner. At the moment, there are a total of 11 members in the alliance, of which the most major ones are ECA’s strategic members, the Ministry of Education and Culture as well as publishing houses Edita Publishing, Otava and Sanoma Pro.
In 2017, ECA’s activities particularly focused on the implementation of standardisation and learning analytics, as well as analytical interfaces. The most significant achievement was the reform of the reference implementation. The reference implementation and the corresponding ongoing environment are an important part of the definition of the standard. In the Beta environment, users and developers can determine, how the different interfaces work and what is really expected from them. The Beta environment was implemented in cooperation with the MPASS project. ECA has also been involved in supporting and promoting MPASSid authentication, which is a good solution for solving login challenges.
In addition to implementing the standard, one of the main areas of focus last year was the approval management of educational institutions. ECA focused on the definition and preparation of the approval management process in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. In connection with the topic, ECA was involved in arranging a seminar in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture last May, which was open to all and which focused on learning analytics and the reforming EU data protection legislation.
During the past year, ECA has been involved in promoting and supporting the deployment of the KOSKI legislation and OID, i.e. a national learner identifier, in Finland. OID shall be educational information’s cutting-edge method to find information concerning a certain student.
In 2017, international cooperation was built and activated particularly in Nordic countries, Baltic countries and Germany. The translation of the Educloudalliance.org website was considered to be extremely important in terms of developing wider scale international cooperation in the future. Thus, ECA’s website was also translated into English and it also received a new fresh look.
“EduCIoud Alliance has gradually taken its place as part of the Finnish ecosystem of digital learning technology. I am extremely pleased that we have been able to participate in the promotion of a national authentication solution and the application of GDPR in Finland. EduCIoud has also managed to open networks internationally, particularly in Germany”, states ECA’s chairman Timo Väliharju.
Increasing international awareness shall continue to be one of ECA’s points of focus this year. ECA continues to closely monitor the development of the industry, and aims to find interesting cooperation opportunities and partners both at a national and an international level.
ECA offers its members essential information on the development of digital learning services, as well as a valuable opportunity to influence the future of the industry. If this got you interested, and you wish to hear more about your participation opportunities, please contact us!
Timo Väliharju, Chairman
+358 50 330 3339