Collège-Lycée Sacré Cœur de Taravao in Tahiti has recently implemented ONLYOFFICE and Moodle in its educational process to offer students the opportunity to do homework and projects individually or in groups. Dr. Colin Jonathan, Physics and Chemistry, Robotics, Science and Technology teacher, tells us about the challenges of digitalization and solutions.
About the school
Collège-Lycée Sacré Cœur de Taravao (SCT) is a Catholic school in the countryside of Tahiti, French Polynesia, in the middle of the South Pacific. The school has a contract with the French ministry of education, so they provide the same curriculum. The SCT has about 1,500 students between the ages of 2 and 18 and covers several levels of education from nursery to professional secondary school.
Despite the school’s modest conditions, it introduced technology that is among the most advanced in the French education system.
Challenges to take on
Introducing software into the educational process of the school was not an easy task at all. They had to challenge themselves to find a solution that would meet all the requirements:
Technical background. Students usually have a poor Internet connection, low data subscriptions, and no appropriate software to complete their school assignments.
Open-source and GDPR compliance. The school should use only open-source software.
Installation on its server. In order to store data safely, software must be installed on the school server.
No “close” format. As students and teachers use Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, /e/, etc., the software must be available from any device.
After some research, the SCT implemented a bundle of solutions for different purposes: Nextcloud, Peertube, Joomla, Zimbra, Moodle, and JupyterHub. To complete the task, they created the Moodle School platform to provide everything necessary for children to learn. The next step was to add document editing functionality to work efficiently on .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx files with students, both collaboratively and individually.
Being a geek and interested in sovereign infrastructure, Dr. Colin Jonathan knew ONLYOFFICE as open-source software that could be installed and controlled on the school server. So he offered to try it.
Apart from ONLYOFFICE, there was one alternative – LibreOffice. But attempts to connect it to Moodle weren’t successful, as it required students to have it installed. It was not simple for them because of different devices and an unstable Internet connection.
Integration of ONLYOFFICE worked quite well and solved the key challenge of providing simplicity for all students to work on projects.
How to use ONLYOFFICE in education
Teachers and students use it on Nextcloud Server and Moodle Server. For online work, they choose Jitsi or BigBlueButton for video conferencing.
Here are some of the tasks that teachers solved with the ONLYOFICE-Moodle integration:
- Preparing a talk by a student. We create a dedicated activity for each student in a Moodle section and restrict access to the given student (It would be helpful if we could do this in bulk with the plugin).
- Experiment reports. We ask students to share the results of experiments in a collaborative .xlsx format in Moodle, make some graphics, and test some laws of Physics and Chemistry.
- Achievement tracking. Students complete and keep track of their achievements in a collaborative .xlsx.
- Plan events with students.
- Work collaboratively with the administrative department on student information.
It changed the way they collaborated. It was challenging to follow what was the latest version of the document when more than three people were working on it. So, most of the time, they had to schedule meetings. The best thing is that now they don’t have any problem with students sending their work in multiple formats that need to be converted to be able to access them.
As a result, on the teacher side, there is time-saving and better process organization. On the student side – digital equality.
Dr. Colin Jonathan, Physics and Chemistry, Robotics, Science and Technology teacher:
We absolutely recommend ONLYOFFICE to schools. Maybe there is dedicated software for companies, but if you want to control your data and have a collaborative and simple system to work with your students, that’s a great solution.