EduCloud Alliance’s operations come to an end – we thank everyone for their contributions to advancing digital learning
By : Linda Lehto -
EduCloud Alliance's active operations will end by the end of 2023. EduCloud Alliance has been a business-oriented alliance based on open technology, where various parties have united their efforts over the past years to promote an open ecosystem for digital learning.
During the history of EduCloud, we have seen many significant joint achievements. All these advancements have been important milestones towards the future of digital learning and central to the alliance's goal of creating a more unified and open ecosystem.
The alliance has been involved in developing a nation-level ecosystem focusing on international awareness, which connects the users, purchasers, developers and service providers of learning services. We have promoted the digital market for learning technology and content by specifying an 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. This allows digital learning materials to be produced, acquired and deployed on online learning platforms or other learning network services in an easier manner.
EduCloud open standard and the reference implementation
Originally, EduCloud Alliance (ECA) was an alliance initiated by Finland's Ministry of Education and Culture to implement the EduCloud standard for open educational cloud services. In the beginning, creating a reference implementation of the EduCloud standard was one of our main goals. The most significant achievement was the reform of the reference implementation in 2017. At the same time, the alliance's activities also began to focus on implementing learning analytics and analytics interfaces. The reference implementation and its ongoing environment were an important part of defining the standard. In the beta environment, users and developers could see how different interfaces worked and what was really expected from the services.
ECA has also been involved in supporting and promoting MPASSid authentication, a solution for solving login challenges in educational institutions. The beta environment was also implemented in collaboration with the MPASS project.
Management of educational institutions' consent
In addition to implementing the standard, a major focus area of the activity was the consent management of educational institutions. In ECA, we focused on defining and developing a consent management process in accordance with the EU's data protection regulation.
KOSKI legislation and OID
ECA has also been involved in promoting and supporting the implementation of KOSKI legislation and OID, the national individual learner identifier, in Finland. OID is a cross-cutting means in the educational data repositories to find information related to a single student.
Most recently, ECA focused on advancing the xAPI standard, aiming to highlight its benefits in transmitting learning analytics data. xAPI is a simple, text-based data transmission standard that allows various learning-related services to report performance and event data to an external database (LRS, or Learning Record Store). Previously, such analytics data was scattered across different systems and formats. As a collaborative effort of ECA members, we created the first version of the xAPI verb library with the idea of a "least common denominator", selecting a set of typical learning event verbs, which are illustrated through short learning stories.
Expanding international networks and collaboration
Over the years, ECA was also able to expand its networks and create both national and international collaborations, including with the United States and within Europe, especially the Nordic countries, the Baltics, and Germany.
We want to thank all our members, partners, and other stakeholders who have been involved in EduCloud's operations over the years for your contributions and commitment to the alliance's operations and goals. Your collaboration, innovation, and efforts to advance digital learning have been invaluable and central to the success of the alliance. EduCloud Alliance has been a journey that we can all be proud of.
Thank you for being part of this unique project.