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Background and Links

Opportunities

Recommendations for eLearning Strategy


Background and Links

The current Polytechnic Strategic Plan identifies a number of values, strategies and objectives that require open access to global communication services:

Connected learning
  • To our learners, their families and communities – locally, nationally and globally
  • To the needs of employers, business and industry
  • To other service providers as partners in learning and education

Collaboration with
  • other educational institutions
  • business and industry
  • communities and community projects

Engaging with
  • industry, business and workplaces
  • community and government
  • regional and rural learners

Identifying and developing partners and collaborators to ensure relevant, flexible, accessible and contemporary learning experiences which provide learners with a global perspective - including building viable international programs and activities.


Within the Polytechnic staff use Microsoft Lync and this works well within the organisation. However, communication using Lync outside the organisation can be problematic depending on available upload bandwidth (campuses have asymmetric internet services typically with 20Mbps down and 1Mbps up). While Polytechnic staff can initiate Lync calls to outside users the reverse is not possible.

For this reason many staff and students use Skype or Google Talk. Skype is often the preferred method of communication when communicating or collaborating with students, staff, mentors, business and industry contacts - both locally, nationally and globally.

A number of staff use Google Talk with students because they are using an integrated suit of Google education services such as GMail, Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Reader.

The Polytechnic has an official email system for students but most students prefer to use their existing email account or don't use email at all preferring Facebook and mobile phones. Many Polytechnic student email accounts are unused.

An increasing number of staff are using LinkedIn for professional networking - particularly with business and industry contacts. Some also use Facebook, Twitter and blogs to form professional learning networks.

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Skype

Skype allows users to make voice, video and chat calls over the internet and has over 600 million users worldwide.
It also allows file and screen sharing and has many other features.
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Microsoft Lync 2010

Microsoft Lync 2010 is a unified communication client with instant messaging, meetings, voice, desktop sharing and more.
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Google Applications for Education

Google Apps for Education offers a free (and ad-free) set of customizable tools that enable faculty, staff and students to work together and learn more effectively.

Opportunities


Recommendations for eLearning Strategy