Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Re-framing the Present

The current restructuring of Tasmanian public post year 10 education provides a good opportunity to re-conceptualise ICT services to match learning needs. A new ICT network infrastructure has been built from the ground up that supports both legacy and new systems across 16 campuses statewide.

Learning priorities have already been re-framed as the FACS Learning Model - Flexible, Applied, Connected and Supported Learning. In what ways can we re-conceptualise ICT services to enable, facilitate and support the FACS Learning Model?

We have already attempted to map a student perspective on current and planned ICT services, and to map the notion of a Virtual Campus. This post attempts yet another map - starting with learning. The learning priorities on the left are linked to the necessary ICT functionality to support them on the right:

Does it show the important ICT functionality required to enable, facilitate and support FACS Learning?

The next part of this mapping exercise emphasises the need for management processes and tools for the learner, the teacher and the institution .

'Manage MyLearning' is about each learner's need to manage all the processes, artifacts, resources, networks... as they continue their learning journey - particularly as the learner becomes more self-directed.

The teacher needs to manage their teaching processes, resources, classes, students, professional networks... Recently some have done this in a Learning Management System (LMS) - which has really been more of Teaching Management System for most.

'Manage MyInstitution' could be seen as the institutions need to manage facilities, services, staff and students... (Or it might be taking the 'My' trend too far...)

Are there other key roles that should be included here that will inform the provision of ICT services?

The next map shows some of the ICT services that might support learners, teachers and the institution. A brief description of each follows...

Folio & Pathway Management Systems: This is about much more than the provision of efolios. It is about each learner managing their own learning choices, resources, artifacts, networks... on their learning journey (pathway). The learner has control over who can view, access and share their learning resources and artifacts.

Learning Management Systems: This is the standard LMS functionality which is mostly about teacher structures and controls to support learning, teaching and assessment.

Information Management Systems: This is largely about managing and communicating institutional information and resources. Systems such as MOSS have evolved to integrate greater functionality however this requires authenticated access to a closed system.

Learning Environments: These include spaces and structures such as virtual worlds, simulations, serious games, augmented reality... Some of these can integrate resources and functionality from other management systems - eg Sloodle.

Virtual Learning Commons: This is the online component of the 'Learning Commons' that includes additional services to learning resource access such as learning support, client services and exhibition spaces.

Shared Services Management Systems: Finance, Facilities, Human Resources and much more.

Learning and Business Applications & Web Services: Office, specialist and learning tool software and web services. Includes application deployment.

Research & Project Management Systems: This has been somewhat ad-hoc in the past and could evolve to support collaborative innovation and research within and beyond the institution.

Course Management Systems: This could evolve beyond the management of in-house courses to the provision of access to Open Courseware.

What other key ICT services are required to support FACS learning?

Still missing from this mapping exercise are the range of services - including some of the management services above - that exist beyond the institution.

The full map can be seen here.