Flexibility, interoperability, reusability and efficiency are the benefits identified by MCEETYA (2003, p. 6) in developing a learning architecture that ensures investments in technology deliver standards, systems, and a learning workspace to provide educational support structures in response to learning demands.
Professional associations for teachers and teacher librarians cannot ignore the articulation of ‘national priorities for action by schools and associated educational organisations’ (MCEETYA, p. 4). The application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) enables integration of learning, administration, and management.
Most professional associations are endeavouring to progressively address the content and knowledge management needs of its members. The Australian School Library Association, for example, offers opportunities to address professional development needs, through a content management system, for the wider teacher librarianship and education community with the delivery of an online learning experience, the national ASLA online conferences held in May 2004 and May 2006.
The connectivity between the Internet and the intranet enables accessibility from any place, time and space, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Flexibility for professional associations means there is a need to use systems that can adjust quickly and responsively to new opportunities for delivering service, standards, products, and professional development to the membership. As professionals we deal with the analogue, digital, and online delivery models.
A focus on interoperability will ensure the sharing of information across systems is transparent to the user. Seamless integration and use of resources, internal and external, will help minimise the duplication of materials.
Reusability will focus on maximising the information and infrastructure for multiple purposes. For example, documentation stored in a single repository can be made available to the public, to specific individuals or organisations, and to specific association representatives via a web link.
Efficiency will lean towards minimising time. Currently, documents generated by most professional associations progress through various stages of development and many versions exist in different locations. A single and simple document-management system would allow an association to administer version control within a central facility to allow comments and input towards the document’s final production.
Thinking big and starting small is a perfect beginning. Isn’t it great to be working within a dynamically changing educational sector?
Ministerial Council of Education, Employment, Training and outh Affairs (MCEETYA) 2003, Learning architecture framework: Learning in an online world, Carlton South, Curriculum Corporation.