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Background and Links

Opportunities

Recommendations for eLearning Strategy


Background and Links

Approaches for the provision of ICT services in educational institutions have changed significantly over the last 20 years - and continue to change.

Some of the drivers of this change have been
  • the need to manage ICT provision across many sites
  • the lack of local on-site ICT technical expertise
  • security, reliability and privacy issues
  • financial sustainability
  • access and equity issues

Through the 90's educational institutions increasingly opted for a shared services model which brought many efficiencies and worked well until soon after the turn of the century when changes in learning and technology began to take ICT provision for learning in new directions. The ICT required for corporate and learning needs began to diverge and the pace of learning and technological change required more responsive service provision than large shared services units could provide without making unrealistic demands on staff or infrastructure - or significantly increasing costs.



External Hosting and Cloud Computing

Over the last few years several Polytechnic teams have been planning, implementing and evaluating a wide range of external hosting and online internet services (cloud computing services). Cloud services range from virtual servers (eg Amazon Storage Services and Amazon Web Services) and software as a service (eg Google Education Apps).

The following are examples of hosting and 'cloud' services currently in use in different areas across the Polytechnic

These external services have been used to meet a number of needs
  • innovation projects and sandpits
  • staff vocational competency training and experience
  • agile development of learning solutions
  • student training needs for specific workforce sectors
  • learning environments not accessible on campus due to firewall and policy restrictions

User Provided ICT Services

An increasing number of staff and students are working from home for longer periods of time and/or are bringing their own private 3G wireless broadband internet onto campus or using it while on vocational placement or for informal learning.

In some cases this is done to access services or bandwidth not available on campuses - or in some learning or social areas on campuses.

Future ICT Service Provision

What models of ICT service provision will meet learning, teaching and assessment needs from 2012-2014?
Which aspects of ICT service provision might be best provided by shared services, which might be best located and serviced externally, and which might be provided by the user?

Where is ICT service provision likely to head after 2015?

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Opportunities


Recommendations for eLearning Strategy