HEADS OF ICT teams know the power of ‘empowered customers’, and for those in the education sector, these are students who are able to engage with their teachers, fellow students and external networks using new channels, methods and ways of learning.
For Owen Werner, general manager IMS at Unitec, students are being empowered through the implementation of new collaborative and social digital teaching, learning and support tools.
Unitec is one of the largest providers of vocational education in New Zealand. It has embarked on a transformation programme to deliver a world-class learning and teaching environment so its graduates are well-equipped for the changing needs of the industries they go on to.
The IMS team is working across the organisation on a raft of projects around this goal. One of the projects is building of new learning and teaching spaces designed to deliver a “collaborative, social and technology enabled” educational environment as part of Unitec’s strategic development of a more compact campus in its main site in Mt Albert.
Werner and his 56-member IMS team are also working on improving the student enquiry to enrolment processes, improvements in the class timetabling system, and a student portal that will bring together all of the teaching and learning systems that guide students through their full lifecycle at Unitec.
Some major programmes of work are a refresh of the WAN/LAN Network, digital identity management and implementation of Skype for Business.
Werner says further major ICT investments for Unitec this year are around big data and analytics, digital initiatives to improve the customer experience and collaboration technologies.