“Nothing was ready, but we all did our best. » Professor of history and geography at the college and high school of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines), Gwenaëlle Deborde bitterly recalls the months of confinement and distance learning in 2020. In the absence of clear instructions on digital from her hierarchy and face “unsuitable work tools” offered by her academy, she admits that she turned to private American services, such as Zoom and Google Drive, “lack of viable alternative”.
While the issue of personal data protection is gradually gaining ground in the public debate and the government has a Minister Delegate for Digital Sovereignty among its ranks for the first time, the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the omnipresence in the classrooms of large American private groups, led by Microsoft and Google. In an answer published on Tuesday November 15th at Official newspaperthe Ministry of Public Education has also ensured that it has, in collaboration with the academies, “requested to stop any distributions or extensions” tools of the two American giants in the classroom. Without, however, extending beyond any deadline.
Librarian turnover to the ministry
Appointed head of the digital education department (DNE), Audran Le Baron, formerly of Bercy, took up residence on rue de Grenelle in June 2021. His arrival has been accelerated by what he calls a “institutional trauma”happened two months earlier: when a third confinement was announced, the servers of the National Center for Distance Education (CNED) and some digital workplaces cannot cope with the influx of students and teacherscausing serious failures.
If his main mission is to prevent this type of glitch from happening again, Mr. Le Baron is also very interested in Gafam tools, “taken as an emergency solution in the field”. In a department that has in the past has struck a pact more than once with the large technology group Microsoftthe senior official wishes today to embody an educational digital “free, sovereign, compatible with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)” Redirecting establishments to state-provided tools: “We have to work on an offer that is credible, readable and seamless. Since she’s there, there will be less debate. » In particular, it has recruited for this purpose Alexis Kauffmann, co-founder of the Framasoft network, which has been campaigning for the promotion of free software since 2001.
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