A group of 15 schools in rural areas in Denmark, Italy, Greece, Macedonia (FYROM), Spain, and the United Kingdom are using open source software solutions for learning, teaching and working together. An EU-funded consortium of research institutes and public administrations has developed and trialled software specifically for rural schools.
The RuralSchoolCloud project focussed on solutions that help teachers use the capabilities of cloud computing and boost their digital competences. They also provide tools for managing class rooms. The project also provides tools to facilitate networking between school students and teachers.
The RSC solutions are based on well-known open source applications such as Linux, Apache, PHP and MySQL (LAMP). The project’s developers added cloud-solutions such as OpenMeeting and OwnCloud, combined using the OpenNebula management tools.
Intuitive and flexible
“We’ve had positive feedback, both on our technical and our pedagogical approach”, says María José Rodriguez Malmierca, RSC’s coordinator. The eLearning specialist working at Galicia's Supercomputation Centre presented RSC last week at the LibreCon in Santiago de Compostela (Spain). “The tools provide a safe environment, are intuitive and flexible, and improve collaboration between teachers in schools in rural and remote areas.”
In the autonomous region of Galicia, the RSC project worked with the region’s agency for technological modernisation (Amtega) and the education department. The software solutions were trialled by 4 groups of schools in 23 villages. The intention is to extend the project to other schools in the region.
RuralSchoolCloud was funded until September this year by the European Union’s Comenius programme. The project is sharing the tailored software solutions, and is also making available a handbook in five languages.