In order to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of the schools’ business operations and the security of document archiving, as well as to make these operations more transparent and, ultimately, simpler and more economical, the plan is to develop, within the project, support services for the business processes in the schools and the educational system, as well as for communication and the exchange of information, whether within the system or with the state administration systems in general. The services are planned to be developed in cloud, taking into consideration client neutrality, that is, independence from the client devices used for accessing the services. Providing cloud-based services will simplify the maintenance and use of business applications and simultaneously reduce costs. Cloud-based services will enable the use of shared resources according to specific needs and at request, which will increase the effectiveness of the data centres, leading to the optimisation of the costs of system procurement and maintenance, as well as to a more environmentally sustainable use of computing technology, with a decreased need for electric energy.
The following services and tools will provide support to the educational processes in the schools:
- The system for schools’ business operations (“ERP for schools”) is a centralised, uniform, standardised system for the informatisation of business operations and monitoring of business processes in schools. The introduction of enterprise resource planning (ERP) to schools brings numerous advantages to the beneficiaries, such as simple and free-of-charge system maintenance, support with regard to the legal regulations and harmonization with them, integration with the other systems and services for schools (the Hosting Service for Schools, the e-Main Registry, the centralized calculation of salaries…), as well as speedy, simple communication and data exchange between the schools, the agencies, the founders, the competent ministries and the other stakeholders of the project.
- The Digital Content Repository, which will enable the teachers, students and schools centralized browsing of educational materials published on various websites and access to them, as well as provide teachers and publishers with a space for the publication of their digital teaching materials. The system will be searchable according to many different criteria and the content will be structured according to subjects and scientific fields, as well as described by metadata.
- The Classroom Management System (CMS), whose primary role is to provide a high-quality learning environment and increase the efficiency (effectiveness) of teaching. The functionalities of the CMS will enable the teacher to simultaneously supervise the activities of each student, focus the students’ attention on the lesson, interact with the students through the communication and collaboration elements of the system, assess their knowledge and organise them inside the class unit (group). The system will facilitate the students’ interaction with the teacher and his or her provision of assistance to them, as well as enable the students to cooperate with other students and facilitate the completion of all the activities (tests, surveys, task solving and the sending of the students’ work to the teacher).
- The Learning and Organisational Analytics system includes the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for the purpose of understanding learning and the environment in which it occurs. Learning analytics is used for prediction, personalization and intervention, in cases when support to the students is required, as well as for the visualisation of information about learning and the creation of a system for predicting the students’ success.
- The e-Schools services ecosystem – a suprasystem which defines the basic parameters we are guided by in designing all the other subsystems, which are, basically, the development of a robust system, with an emphasis on the reliability and easy maintenance of the system by the professional staff. Within the ecosystem, it is necessary to design and define the way in which the services/applications should be offered to the end users, so as to ensure their high availability, safety and reliability in use, as well as, within the extent of their use, the provision of the added value of the upgraded CARNet network and its capacities.
- Sensors and smart management comprise the system for the monitoring of working conditions in schools, and will include the monitoring of the operating conditions of the microclimatization systems in schools and the monitoring of the concentration of dangerous gases. Based on the data collected via the sensors, decisions will be made about future investments, for the purpose of saving energy and ensuring optimal working conditions.
Initial safety testing will be performed for all the services developed within the e-Schools project, while periodical testing will ensure the safety of the services during their use.