BIRD: In a Nutshell

We already have valuable digital education offerings. The challenge is to network them intelligently.

BIRD project

BIRD is a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to develop a prototype of the National Education Platform. BIRD has a special role in the funding framework, in which around 60 other projects are also being funded.

The Corona pandemic has forced Germany to find pragmatic, digital solutions to everyday challenges in many areas of society. Home offices, video conferences and digital collaboration tools have since become part of everyday life for many.
Schools have also had to act, identify needs and implement solutions. This has resulted in a fragmented ad-hoc landscape of digital solutions that are siloed, always have their own logins and often interrupt users in their teaching and learning processes when they navigate between applications.

So there is already a multitude of digital education solutions, some of which are very good - but they are usually separate from each other and not available nationwide. This is why the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) presented the National Education Platform (NBP) project in January 2021. The vision of the NBP is to enable digitally self-determined, seamless and lifelong educational journeys for users - from pre-school age, through school, training, university and professional development.

Such a comprehensive project can only succeed if the numerous stakeholders affected by such a platform are involved and by choosing a project approach that, on the one hand, responds to different demands in an agile way and, on the other hand, invites participants to explore scenarios and learn from both successes and failures.

 

BIRD serves as a prototypical learning environment for a nationally networked education federalism.

The National Education Platform (NBP) is a step for education in Germany that is as necessary as it is ambitious: digital networking should fully exploit the potential of digital technologies so that education stakeholders - not only students and teachers but also publishers, school boards, parents and many more - are supported and motivated by technology rather than disrupted and burdened. This means that the path to an optimal NBP can only lead through exchange and shared learning with the various stakeholders, so that it is accepted by its users in later operation.

BIRD is therefore developing a prototype of the NBP on a trial basis, to which other funding projects will be linked. In this way, an experimental field is being developed in which the BMBF can gather reliable experience in order to be able to define optimal requirements and needs for the later NBP.

 

BIRD provides concrete requirements to move from the status quo to the vision of the National Education Platform.

BIRD supports the BMBF in networking educational offerings in Germany, taking concrete development steps and documenting experiences in exchange with other funding projects and test users for a future-oriented call for proposals for the NBP. In this prototypical approach, an ecosystem of independent educational services is being created that invites people to explore the possibilities of the NBP.

Even though the focus of BIRD is on learning, the approach is based on three integral specifications required by the BMBF and which BIRD technically implements in three core functions:

  • A login for lifelong learning through single sign-on (SSO)
  • Self-determination through user-side data wallets
  • Find all content via a search through central metadata management

 

Vision

The development follows three principles:

workshop situation core functions education platform
Linking content

Create cross-system and contextual access to learning resources to promote accessible integration of content into learning processes.

Linking tools

Draw from diversity of tools to enable users to create their own personal working environment. By this, work processes, exchange of knowledge and the collaboration with other teachers and learners can be digitally organised in the best possible way.

Linking people

Learning can be more successful through context-related networking and exchange with other interested people as well as through seamless use of further offers.