After a few months of agonised waiting, on Friday Feb, 6th,
Spanish Secretary of State, Fransisco Ros signed an agreement to release the ‘Agrega’ source code and documentation to the UK. ‘Agrega’ is the Spanish digital learning object repository that will be used to develop the National Digital Resource Bank.
‘Agrega’, developed by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, which encompasses education, has been developed over the last two years as part of the €275 million Plan Avanza Programme. The code, which will be released under a full EU Public License in the summer, has been released early to allow the North West Learning Grid to move ahead with development of the National Digital Resource Bank (NDRB).
The NDRB is set to become the largest repository of free, downloadable digital learning objects available to teachers via learning platforms. With over 100 local authorities committed to the project and nine of the ten RBC’s that make up the English arm of the NEN looking at entering into a delivery partnership, it is believed that the NDRB, through the use of the ‘Agrega’ platform will transform the habits of thousands of teachers directing them to easily accessible, copyright cleared, digital resources and assets. The NDRB will be hosted on the Janet Network and has opted for the open source ‘Agrega’ platform for a number of reasons.
“The use of Open source enables us to achieve the immense scale of this project without crippling, recurrent, licence costs. This project will be by far the largest Digital Resource project nationally and the Open Source development ensures we can scale up to include schools, colleges and even commercial providers without significantly increasing our annual costs.” says Gary Clawson, CEO at the North West Learning Grid.
“’Agrega’ is like no other existing repository says Project Manager, Fiona Iglesias, “Searching is so simple, results can quickly and easily be previewed and evaluated before being downloaded in such a flexible way that it will work with any learning platform.”
Open source specialists Sirius Corporation have already started the work of building on the ‘Agrega’ code to create the NDRB and an early demo version is expected to be ready soon after Easter with a full release planned for the summer.