At a workshop during the 2004 International Baccalaureate (IB) conference in Athens, the conclusion was drawn that there was no software available that provided a comprehensive solution that met the IB requirements for grading and end of term report cards.
The software that was available, was primarily designed for the domestic education programs within the country concerned. Even when the domestic software was usable, it is it is more often than not clumsy, often leaving teachers with large numbers of hand calculations before grades could be entered. Additional complications arise from the IB’s requirements to teach and report in 1 of 4 languages (English, Spanish, French, and Chinese) thus rendering domestic administration software in many countries as unsuitable regardless of functionality.
Whilst the global demand for such software was immediately apparent, at the domestic level in most countries the demand is small; consequently there has been little incentive for software development companies to invest. The Solution lay in international development using an open source development strategy.
To date osSchool remains unique. It is the only open source project dedicated to the demands of the International Baccalaureate education system. A web-based design using PHP5 has been chosen to facilitate off-site working for both students and teachers. This approach will also help to track the progress of tutor-led / externally-taught Small Entry subjects. The modular nature of the design will enable schools to run only those modules that they require at the time, with the possibility to expand in the future.
In March 2006 successful trials of the “Report Card System” were held at the Amsterdam International Community School (AICS). Several developers from the open source community have now joined the project and attention is turning to new modules and additional functionality.