Targeting the public education sector, particular Germany

@jocelyn: And another one. This one is a bit complicated and would require some quick action. And here is why:

The Covid-19 disease has revealed that schools in Germany are not really fit for digital learning and online teaching. There are some projects but with the massive number of students that needs to be served online during lockdowns, the current learning platforms cannot keep up with. So this sector currently receives massive public attention and there is a desperate search for solutions and transformation under way.

As already explained in a different posting, in Germany we are not really happy to use US-based solutions like Whatsapp or Office 365 or Teams for schools especially with minors involved. Mainly due to privacy concerns (Cloud Act).

Therefore Germany in particular is looking for solutions that protect data and privacy and also being hopefully Open Source. A solution that is already used by some of our federal states (in Germany all school matters are under the sole responsibility of the federal states) is the learning management platform Moodle.

One part of e-learning is to make files available to students in virtual class rooms for downloading or streaming. So no wonder there is already Amazon S3 connectors/plugins available:
https://docs.moodle.org/310/en/Amazon_S3_repository,
https://moodle.org/plugins/repository_s3bucket,
https://moodle.org/plugins/repository_s3links,
https://moodle.org/plugins/tool_objectfs
Our education state departments offer huge media libraries that can be used by schools for education purposes. This ranges from online courses to TV productions or even movies. These get integrated into Moodle. Here is an example of how this looks like. Sorry it is only available in German: https://www.mebis.bayern.de/infoportal/lernplattform/lernplattform-schnelleinstieg/
According to them, the “mebis” platform is the largest Moodle instance in Germany with around 800.000 users.

So you know what I am going to suggest: If Storj would develop a S3 Tardigrade connector for Moodle, it could generally attract Moodle users as new customers worldwide for using Tardigrade as storage backend for files.
Additionally for the German market it could mean that Storj could then approach directly the state departments with their huge media libraries for schools and offer them the Tardigrade storage solution for storage and distribution also.
I know @stefanbenten was active with the transfer.sh-Tardigrade development. Maybe he can assess how much it would take to get such a connector for Moodle up an running.

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The only hinderance I see is if they want GDPR compliance.

Absolutely true. That is why I started the thread about 3rd party certification.

For EU users and Germany in particular, and even more for public administration, GDPR compliance is indeed a thing. (However we do see a lot of usage of Whatsapp, AWS and Microsoft tools :innocent:).
Let’s say it would be easier (especially for a new start-up) if there was some sort of certification already that confirms all compliance and security stuff for Tardigrade.

Edit: Oh and also I cannot imagine German public administration would ever pay via Storj token or credit card…

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Hey guys, in my daytime job I work for the biggest german IT Service Provider and if there is anything I can help with, just ask me.
We also support a lot of schools and public sectors…and yeah, GDPR is a pain sometimes :slight_smile:

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I’m a teacher in Bavaria and yes, the learning platform, it’s called mebis, goes down all the time here and is inaccessible. I am the IT representative at our school (1800 students) and therefore have to deal with the annoying topic of data protection all the time. We are not allowed to upload data to Dropbox. MS-Teams, which we use, is a version converted to Bavaria, at least that’s the info, where the data stays in our school. Similarly, the other states have it with their platforms. The data must remain, that is prescribed in Europe, better still, however, at least in Germany. As much as I would like to see a Tardigrade storage solution taken, I think this is out of the question

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(This might be off-topic but why not use Nextcloud, which is similar to dropbox but a lot better and you can easily host it yourself, so no privacy concerns. It even has a tardigrade connector lol, that makes it on topic xD)

We have a similar variant, snv, in which the data at least stays on our servers. Dropbox was just one example of how closely privacy is seen here

Wow, it is great to have users here who can share their first hand knowledge. And it is also great to hear a second confirmation about the problems with the learning platforms in Germany.

But I think we need to differ what kind of data we are talking about and I am not so sure if the strict GDPR appliance would be required for static data or non personal data like the media files that I have mentioned. As you are German I mean the files from the “Mediathek”.

From my view Storj could help in 2 ways:

  1. From my knowledge the GDPR is not really suitable for the concept or zero knowledge storage. If data is encrypted and sharded, so that it cannot be accessed, it does not really matter where it is stored. So here it would require some Lobbyism and to build understanding, what this storage solution is about and why it is totally different from other providers where the provider companies like Microsoft have access to the data and do access the data for many different reasons.

  2. It would help enormously for GDPR compliance, if the users could select from a set of regions where the data should be stored. Something like EU, America, Rest. That would help a lot.

Hey, wouldn’t you think it would be cool school project to set up some Storj storage nodes with your pupils? This stuff is Open Source and you could build your own network with satellites and stuff…

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he learning platforms are used primarily for your worksheets, info texts, group work, etc. and also these should only be stored on European servers. This is explicitly about intellectual property, which should remain in Europe. There is a lack of trust, especially in the USA. Media libraries are hardly ever outsourced to the learning platforms. That’s where you use the media libraries that already exist and work well. The idea of a school owned STORJ node is a good one and I’d really like it and it fails because of the specifications. The network can’t be used for this. Besides, we can’t make a profit there. I see greater opportunities in countries like Finland. Was there for an exchange and school as an institution is seen more like a business there. Something like that would certainly be possible, but probably not necessary. In Germany, school is a state institution which z. B. may not accept private funds or may accept them only to a very limited extent.

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Not necessarily outsourced, but integrated.
Could you be more specific here? I get my understanding from this link: https://www.mebis.bayern.de/infoportal/mediathek/einbinden-von-medien-der-mediathek-in-die-lernplattform/ where media files get selected and copied via link sharing into the learning platform.
From there my understanding is that your pupils click the link and watch it, so it has to be streamed to each of them. That’s what I think could be a perfect match for a Tardigrade solution.

Which is really sad because it could be a lot of fun for interested students. And there is a lot you could learn from it. Setting up a node can be inexpensive if you use a Odroid. So in a project group with like 30 pupils everyone could have his own node. And honestly it is quite exiting and doing all stuff from the console you get to learn Linux very fast and efficient. But yeah, the German problem stikes again. :confounded:

Yes, you can especially upload videos to mebis and link them in the posts. I also claim that 99% of users link to the media libraries of the state broadcasters (ARD, ZDF etc) or youtube and therefore the actual film never ends up on Mebis

Nevertheless, the idea of setting up a node with the students is a good idea. I’m thinking about how this can be legally implemented.

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I recently got one of these: https://steemit.com/odroid/@bola/odroid-hc2-mini-pc

Even with a HDD they are not really expensive and it would be an amazing experience for students to set this up and even earn some Storj tokens.

@stefanbenten 20 characters

Mostly depends on the language Moddle is written in.
They can very easily run the Gateway and plug that in.

Actually my idea was a bit differerent:

  • Storj Labs could provide assistance to the developers of existing S3 plugins to make sure Moodle can be used with Tardigrade easily. Similar to the assistance you have provided for the transfer.sh connector.

  • Storj Labs could create a Zapier integration.

  • Storj Labs writes an integration on their own and become a Moodle Certified Integration.

I mean if Storj Labs want users to use Tardigrade for storage - and I believe the worldwide Moodle user base could be an interesting target - it should be made easy for them to connect to it.

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Honestly, we should not go down the path of having the gateway in between, rather than using the native library, thats in the works here:

Once that is merged, it would probably be best to add a native php plugin that handles the backend storage.
That way, no additional software has to be deployed and integration is also seemlessly possible. I do not think that our team currently has the capacity to work on these integrations ourselves (hence the above repo/connector is also a community contribution).

Then my ideas would be:

  • Maybe the talented community would be interested to do the work and Storj Labs just oversees or advises.

  • Or to contact the existing S3 plugin developers if they are interested and invite them to the Storj Labs partner program

@jocelyn

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