EdReNe – Current state of educational repositories – national overview
Since 2006/7, in Germany, all responsibilities for compulsory education are completely in the hands of the 16 states (“Länder”), that Germany consists of. So i.g. no national curricula are available. Some services that have been implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with the 16 Länder ministries in former years, like “Lehrer online” (Teachers online) and “lo-net” (a virtual learning environment) will no more be existing in the near future of will be run by a privat company.
So, concerning educational repositories, there are some services, that are developed and run commonly by the Länder and there are many regional Länder services.
About German Repositories
Examples of central repositories
- FWU Catalogue
12,000 resources, mostly DVD.
- Educational Media Database (Datenbank Bildungsmedien)
40,000 commercial resources from 3 sources (FWU, SODIS - Software documentation and evaluation, Datapool of Media Centres).
Mainly DVDs and CD-ROMs from the German-speaking market
- German Eduserver (Deutscher Bildungsserver, DBS)
“Deutscher Bildungsserver” (Eduserver) searching for learning resources.
Founded 1996, is controlled and funded by the Länder. Since 2001 FWU has been co-responsible for the German Eduserver (DBS). DBS contains about 30,000 educational metadata records, linking to external resources, e.g. on school servers.
The metadata is stored conforming to Dublin Core.
Links can be suggested to editors by teachers.
SODIS Online Content Pool
In Autumn 2008, a test portal has been opened by FWU, including different sources of online content with different IPR.
Current parts are:
- “MELT” (FWU contribution to then European Melt project), including more than 2.200 learning objects and assets, provided under a Creative Commons Licence;
- “Lehrer Online”, consisting of about 1.500 non-commercial lessons plans;
- “Contake”, an Austrian collection, containing about 3.500 learning objects;
German Metadata Standards
Heterogenious Standards for generating Educational Metadata in Germany
About German Metadata Standards
German Media Centres (EAF group)
- traditional providers of educational media for schools, more or less organised hierarchically (on states' level)
- nationwide with hundreds of media centers, partners also in Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy and Belgium
- focus still on VHS, CD-ROM and DVD
- standing metadata working group
- metadata profile based on developments in the early 1990th
- rich metadata (about 70 elements), provided as plain text
- genuine catalogs for (1) subjects and themes, (2) keywords
German Education Servers (Elixier Group)
- one "official" education server in every German state together with German Eduserser DBS (overall 16 + 1)
- focus on compulsory education, but different individual concepts
- some providing learning resources, some using metadata
- definition of an XML-based exchange protocol in 2006: Elixier
- using: (1) Dublin Core attributes, introduced by DBS in 1997; (2) Austrian LOM profile ISS (Interperable Systems Specification)
- current content: more than 30.000 educational resources
- current problems: (1) very few mantatory attributes because of the diversity of the contents provided by the partners
(2) no consolidated catalogs
- established in 2006, aiming for a common (multinational) LOM based protocol for metadata creation and exchange
- partners in Austria and Germany
(education servers, media centres, publishers)
- based on Austrian ISS (Interoperable Systems Specification)
(1) using list of subjects based on German EAF;
(2) recommending controlled EAF keyword list
- exchange protocol under development
Implementation of a LOM profile
In spring 2008, on initiative of FWU representatives of various German networks, a standardization group was initiated, aiming to define a common metadata exchange format for various existing proprietary formats.
The current state of discussion and agreements is, that the result will be a German LOM profile, using vocabularies of LRE profile, provided by EUN.
The first publicly available version is expected in Spring 2009.
National Agency for Online Content
Current initiative is to implement a nationwide network for providing schools with online resources, installing an agency in the centre for co-ordination of the processes and providing features like central metadata referatory, central repository where ever possible and useful, nationwide single sign on.