THE MINISTRY OF Education is the lead agency for the education sector spanning early childhood education, primary and secondary education and tertiary education. The Ministry, in conjunction with the sector agencies, has created an Education System Digital Strategy which aligns the investment strategies of sector agencies into a common and aligned future state, harnessing the full transformative potential of digital technologies in education to lift student achievement.
“Supporting schools to make the most of cloud computing is a key focus for 2016,” says CIO Stuart Wakefield.
The Ministry is piloting a cloud based option for software currently used in schools in an on-premise model, and will be working with schools to transition them to this service which will reduce the costs and administrative burden in managing infrastructure and software upgrades. This further leverages the significant investment in fibre based broadband delivered by Network for Learning as a key enabler for cloud.
Another key element of the Digital Strategy is the creation of a shared information commons, based on a student-centric data model, that provides a real-time view to all stakeholders of the information they need. “We expect this to also make the process for students transitioning between education providers a smoother experience with data being able to be shared more readily,” says Wakefield.
At a corporate level, the Ministry has moved all Wellington staff into new premises, with a technology refresh that supports fully f lexible, mobile and remote work.
“During 2016 we plan to rollout this f lexible working capability across all Ministry offices, including the use of Skype for Business to replace traditional desk phones and legacy Video Conferencing systems,”says Wakefield.
“We have also created a shared infrastructure environment across the sector agencies to reduce costs and provide a platform for closer collaboration on customer facing systems such as digital channels.”