The concept of the Hariduspilv (Education Cloud) prescribes the creation of a digital education environment with the purpose of improving the communication and cooperation between the parties in education.
The environment of Hariduspilv provides students, teachers and other parties with access to the databases and information systems of the area of education that support studies and management activities in schools.
Hariduspilv ensures easy access to digital study materials and several services based on modern IT solutions. For instance, it gives easy access to the Estonian Education Information System (EHIS), Examination Information System (EIS), Information System of Estonian Schools (EKIS), study information systems, e-journals, e-notebooks, repositories of learning materials and various language learning environments. In such a manner, the state also creates prerequisites for private companies and other interest parties for using the so-called direct channel to the target group, i.e. to persons providing and obtaining education.
As a great step towards the improvement of digital competence and enrichment of learning materials used in the study process, a supplement was introduced in the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, under which a publisher of educational literature shall also make educational literature available digitally in a register prescribed therefor by the state. In order to not just distribute static textbooks, it is necessary to create an environment supporting the use of interactive solutions. The creators of learning materials can then focus on the content and do not have to engage in the development of prerequisites related to information technology. As a result, the Ministry of Education and Research will start creating the information system of learning materials as an e-service of the Hariduspilv in 2015.
Information System of Learning Materials
The possibilities of the information system of learning materials will include the platform of providing and using digital learning materials, collection of information on other available learning materials, functionality of exchanging experience and commenting by the users of learning materials, central software solutions to create digital learning materials, etc. The Ministry has established an objective that digital learning materials are prepared on the basis of the agreed quality principles.
Learning materials function with all of the commonly used platforms, are modular and can be customised. Upon creating learning materials, the needs of learners will be taken into account and additional modules will be generated, keeping in mind students whose native language is not Estonian, who have learning difficulties, who are talented or have more specific special needs.
The development of the information system of learning materials helps to achieve the common goals of Estonia and Finland in sharing learning materials and taking them to learners. Estonia and Finland have entered into a cooperation agreement to develop a common Education Cloud or EduCloud. The objective of the EduCloud is to expand the selection of digital learning materials used in the area of education of both countries and to improve the quality of education to be obtained by enriching the study process with learning materials of good quality.
This cooperation model can also be extended to other countries, because the large-scale use of digital learning materials in schools causes greater supply and more open market for creators of learning materials and, as a result, a more diverse selection of learning materials for learners, which is the ultimate goal. The distribution of open learning materials and efficient use of technological possibilities in education also constitute significant aims in various initiatives of the European Commission.