Friday, November 07, 2008

e-Learning Course on Green ICT Strategies: Part 8 Revised Outline

In Part 7 I loaded the draft course outline for a new e-learning course on "Green IT Strategies", to be offered as part of the ACS Computer Professional Education Program. into the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS). The outline then needed some further work on the weekly schedule of work.

David Lindley, Academic Principal of ACS Education, had originally suggested dividing the course up into four modules, with three topics in each, followed by a revision, to make 13 week. I had neglected to do this and had weekly topics following no particular order. So I have spent a few hours attempting to group modules under the SFIA topics. This proved extremely difficult to do.

With some structure to the weekly topics, I then tried to find some more content for each week. Most useful for this were the online open source course-ware on sustainability from the Natural Edge Project (NEP). One frustration with this is that the NEP's web site is not well formatted, making it difficult to read the materials and when I copied references to it I ended up with poorly formatted HTML in my document.

Green ICT Strategies

Prepared by Tom Worthington FACS HLM

Version 0.2, 7 November 2008. Draft for comment. Not Approved for delivery of a Course.

Welcome to our elective subject Green ICT Strategies (GICTS) within the Computer Professional Education Program of the Australian Computer Society.

When preparing this subject, as with all the subjects in the Computer Professional Education Program, we have assumed that you and your fellow students are over-achievers; self-motivated, disciplined, and determined to succeed. You have extensive prior knowledge and experience relevant to your study; you are open-minded about sharing your work and educational experiences; and you accept critical thinking as part of the learning process. Further, you are comfortable with, and competent in, written communications; and you recognise that effective learning can occur outside a traditional classroom. Most importantly, you want to control how, when, and where you learn.

Critical to your success in this subject is a regular and disciplined study routine. Only through consistency will you keep up-to-date. Every week there will be specific tasks to complete and, if you fall behind, it will be difficult to catch up.

Also important is that you correspond; at least twice every week; with your fellow students and tutor. Your correspondence must be intelligent and investigative. You will answer questions posed by your tutors, and then debate your answers with your classmates.

Learning Outcomes

Green ICT Strategies is an emerging discipline with no widely accepted approach. This subject is drawn from practices being developed in the public and private sectors internationally. Implementation methodologies and assessment tools currently being field-tested are introduced. Qualification schemes and accreditation are yet to be established and it is possible those completing this subject may be involved in that development.

The ACS course on Green ICT Strategies is based on:

  1. The Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program, Sustainable IT Lecture Series, Natural Edge Project, 2008

  2. Professor Garnaut's "Garnaut Climate Change Review Final Report, 2008
  3. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), Green Electronics Council. GEC 2006.

  4. Energy Star Program , U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, 2007

Competencies based on Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)

The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides a common reference model for the identification of the skills needed to develop effective Information Systems (IS) making use of Information & Communications Technology (ICT).

Green ICT Strategies will target SIFA Level 5 competencies: "ensure, advise: Broad direction, supervisory, objective setting responsibility. Influences organisation. Challenging and unpredictable work. Self sufficient in business skills". With the following skills:

Category/Subcategory/Skill

At the completion of this subject the student can:

  • Strategy & planning

    • Technical strategy and planning

      • Emerging technology monitoring: Identify new and emerging hardware, software and communication technologies for energy saving and materials reuse.

      • Methods and tools: Ensure that appropriate methods and tools for the planning, development, operation, management and maintenance of systems are adopted and used effectively throughout the organisation.

    • Business/IS strategy and planning

      • Business process improvement: Recommend alternative solutions which reduce environmental impact, assesses feasibility, and recommends new approaches.

      • Enterprise Architecture: Contribute to the sustainability of the systems capability strategy which meets the strategic requirements of the business. Incorporate Green ICT into the models and plans to drive forward the strategy, taking advantage of opportunities to improve business performance, as well as environmental benefits.

  • Procurement & management support

    • Supply management

      • Procurement: Write green ICT requirement documents for to products and services.

    • Quality management

Pre-requisites, Co-requisites

Business, Legal and Ethical Issues should be completed prior to undertaking this subject.

Content

Week1: Introduction to Green ICT Strategies

Objective: Understand environmental, social and business context for sustainability, and overview of background, boundaries.

  1. Politics, Science and Business of Sustainability

    Investigate the principles of environmental sustainability and the science of climate change. Objective: You are asked to reduce the ecological footprint of an ICT organization. This organization could be the one you are currently working with or any other organization. How would you go about measuring the ICT system's demand on the Earth's ecosystems and developing a plan (strategy) to reduce the impact?

    1. Week 2: Professor Garnaut's "Garnaut Climate Change Review Final Report"
    2. Week 3: Introduction to Sustainable Development for Engineering and Built Environment Professionals, Natural Edge Project, 2008
    3. week 4: Sustainable Engineering: Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program Whole Systems Design Suite, Natural Edge Project, 2008
  2. Technical strategy and planning

    Emerging technology monitoring

    Identify new and emerging hardware, software and communication technologies for energy saving and materials reuse.

    1. Week 5: Energy saving - Data Centres and Client Equipment

      Objective: Computers and telecommunications equipment contributes about 2% to greenhouse gas emissions. Look at how data centres and client equipment can be made more efficient. Reference: The Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program, Sustainable IT Lecture Series, Natural Edge Project, 2008

    2. Week 6: Materials Use

      Objective: Energy reduction is only part of making a Green ICT system, there is also the issue of use of materials and hazardous substances. How does the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) deal with material use? Reference: E-Waste Education Courses, Natural Edge Project, 2008

    3. Week 7: Methods and tools

      Ensure that appropriate methods and tools for the planning, development, operation, management and maintenance of systems are adopted and used effectively throughout the organisation.

  3. Business/IS strategy and planning

    1. Week 7: Business process improvement

      Recommend alternative solutions which reduce environmental impact, assesses feasibility, and recommends new approaches.

      Objective: ICT has the potential to provide significant environmental improvements, by replacing energy and materials consuming processes with more efficient ICT ones. How do you analyse business processes to identify alternative solutions which reduce environmental impact, assesses feasibility, and recommends new approaches?

    2. Week 8: Business of Government

      The review of government ICT provides a useful example of where Green ICT Principles can be applied. How would you implement the Review of the Australian Government's Use of Information and Communication Technology by Sir Peter Gershon, October 2008.

    3. Week 9: Enterprise Architecture

      Contribute to the sustainability of the systems capability strategy which meets the strategic requirements of the business. Incorporate Green ICT into the models and plans to drive forward the strategy, taking advantage of opportunities to improve business performance, as well as environmental benefits.

      Objective: The business of business is business, so any environmental goals have to fit into the systems capability strategy which meets the strategic requirements of the business. How do you incorporate Green ICT into the models and plans to drive forward the strategy, taking advantage of opportunities to improve business performance, as well as environmental benefits?

  4. Procurement & management support

    1. Week 10: Procurement

      Write green ICT requirement documents for to products and services.

      Objective: Much of the environmental benefits come about by selecting the right products and services. How do you ensure that your hardware, software and services suppliers provide green products?

    2. Week 11: Quality management

    3. Week 12: Compliance audit: Assess the conformity of systems to environmental standards, such as ISO 14000 series, Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), and Energy Star Program.

  5. Week 13: Revision and discussion for assignment 2

    Objective: Let us revisit the Service Life Cycle. Let us discuss about the specific process you are going to improve in your organization through the assignment 2.

    Workload

    To complete the subject you will need to spend 8-10 hours each week reading, communicating with colleagues and tutors, and preparing assignments.

    Review/Evaluation Methods

    There are 2 areas of assessment in the subject;

    • Contributions to the 13 weekly discussion forums, worth 20% of your total assessment.

    • 2 assignments, worth 40% each.

    To pass the subject overall, it is necessary to pass in both areas of assessment.

    Teaching Strategies

    By distance education through online learning methods plus one text book. Online learning is the main delivery method, moderated and supported by a tutor, mentor, student discussion forums and weekly feedback through ACS Education. Students are grouped in cohorts of 20. The students are also supported by the Registrar with email, phone, and fax contact.

    Specialist Features or Equipment

    The subject is supported by a website ACS Education hosted by Moodle where the online learning takes place. All learning materials plus discussion forums are available through this site, apart from the text book.

    Course Designer

    Tom Worthington is an independent ICT consultant and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the Australian National University, where he teaches the design of web sites, e-commerce and professional ethics. In addition, he has an interest in environmental design, and is the founding chair of the ACS Green ICT Group. In 1999 Tom was elected a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society for his contribution to the development of public Internet policy. He is a past president, Fellow and Honorary Life Member of the Australian Computer Society, a voting member of the Association for Computing Machinery and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

    References

    There is no set text for this course. Online references will be used, including:

    1. The Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program, Sustainable IT Lecture Series, Natural Edge Project, 2008

    2. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), Green Electronics Council. GEC 2006.

    3. Energy Star Program , U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, 2007

    4. ACS Policy Statement for Green ICT, Australian Computer Society, 16 August 2007

    5. The Personal Computer and Monitors Energy Efficiency Strategy, Tom Worthington, Report and Recommended Plan of Action, prepared for the Department of Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Version 1.0, 23 September 2008.

    6. ROI Analysis: Reducing 856,000 Pounds of CO2 Emissions through Remote Services and Off-Hours Power Management, Government Case Study: Power Management and CO2 Reduction, Intel, 2008


    Creative Commons License
    Green ICT Strategies Course Outline by Tom Worthington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License.



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