Bull is helping the French region of Languedoc-Roussillon to implement a new ‘Digital Workspace’ covering the entire school curriculum for all secondary school pupils: a first in France!
Digital services delivering equal opportunities
The regional education plan defined by the local authorities in Languedoc-Roussillon sets out two main ambitions: to create the conditions for pupils to succeed in their education, while at the same time reducing social inequality. To deliver the educational activities that result from this, the region will be relying heavily on new technologies and has made a commitment to ensure that everyone has access to them.
This is clearly illustrated by the implementation of the new Digital Workspace, or ENT (Espace Numérique de Travail), that has been up and running for several months at secondary schools in the region, and is open to all members of the education community: teaching staff, students and parents.
As an active way of supporting the modernization of education policy, ENT is designed to provide all kinds of personalized, secure on-line services. It is easy to use, collaborative and open, giving everyone on-line access – even when they are not on school premises – to digital textbooks, timetables, information resources and other curriculum materials, especially as part of coaching for students.
A large-scale collaborative platform
This is a unique project, which has been set in train by the regional council in partnership with five other local councils and the local education authority. Students will benefit from the same workspace right through from their first year in secondary education to the last year of their school studies, while teachers will find their jobs easier to do. Centralization will improve the overall performance and scalability of the solution, thanks to a more ‘industrial’ approach.
The project is also unique in its sheer scale: it already has over 420,000 users and is eventually expected to play host to more than 600,000 students, parents and teachers.
In parallel – still in a spirit of encouraging equal opportunities – at the start of the next academic year the regional council will be giving out over 30,000 laptop computers equipped with Open Source software and linked to the ENT, to students at the Lycées (15-18 years-old), which they can use throughout their time at school.
Secure and easier access to all kinds of services
With its local teams and leading edge Open Source expertise, Bull has been chosen to develop and integrate this complex project. The solution is based around the ESUP Open Source portal used by major US and French Universities, including those in the city of Montpellier. The architecture consists of interoperable Open Source components that meet industry-standard development norms. All these components have been integrated by Bull into the portal, and are interconnected with each other through a unified directory which offers a high degree of modularity and adaptability to each environment. Finally, secure access is provided by a single sign-on (SSO) system.
According to Michel Massol, head of the Education Support department at the Languedoc-Roussillon regional council: “For this kind of highly complex collaborative project, day-to-day responsiveness is a real strength. Bull has used all its expertise in new technologies and its essential close proximity to support us in developing innovative digital tools such as ENT.”