Technologies and standards used across the JISC Lifelong Learning and Workforce development (LLLWFD) programme

I recently collated the information we have on all the projects working on the JISC Lifelong Learning and Workforce development (LLLWFD) programme in advance of their last programme meeting at the end of Jan (the programme ends March 2011.) I was looking at:
* Technologies used across the programme
* Standards used across the programme
* Capturing this information in our ‘PROD’ database which we use in all our current JISC Programme Support activities

What is PROD?
PROD is a “directory and monitoring tool for JISC funded projects. It lets you search for and quickly gather information about any of the projects in the system” and as part of our support of various JISC programmes, CETIS staff update it based on information in their reports and conversations with projects.

All Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development projects are featured there. Rather than reel off a list of technologies and standards which can be unsurprisingly quite dull, I looked at some of the visualisation tools which colleagues have been using. These help people have a quick overview and see any weighting of particular technologies etc.

A wordle showing a quick snapshot overview of the main technologies in use across the programme:

Wordle showing the technologies in the LLLWFD programme

Wordle showing the technologies in the LLLWFD programme

A mindmap showing all the standards and technologies used by each project, further expansion includes all the comments detailed in PROD (please click on link to access the actual mindmap, below is just an image of the mindmap)

A bubblegram provides and overview of different tools, where the circles are larger then it highlights that particular technology is used b more than one project.

Standards and Technologies used in LL Many Eyes

What this means…
No major surprises in the use of technologies or standards but a really interesting spread. It also echoes the technologies and standards in use across other programmes that have been reported.
Overall, it could be said that the programme is not hugely ‘technical’ in application but instead focusses on processes, staff, and employer issues, which are often the key to success rather than the specific technology of choice. Many interesting issues have arisen and challenges which will persist well beyond the programme, such as accreditation of prior learning, competencies, identity and access management. These all have their own particular nuances when viewed from the various perspectives or employer, institution and learner. There is a great deal of synthesis and reflection coming out of the ‘Developing themes’ on the SSBR blog and it will be interesting to see the final reports to gain a deeper insight across the whole programme.

Will the i Phone ever be free ?

Just about very day I meet a yet another colleague, or friend, extolling the virtues of the i Phone and I have to admit that I think it is a wonderful piece of technology and there can be no doubt the interface has revolutionised the way we interact with technology. Whilst I have been suitably impressed by the device; as a point of principal I have resisted buying one sticking rigidly with my (very) old tried and tested Nokia. This is not a result of standing aside brick walls in Birmingham with colleagues assuring me “There is a restaurant here” but as a direct result of the business model applied , I refuse to sign up to an exclusive carrier deal just to have access to the i Phone nor do I wish to purchase my applications exclusively through iTunes it is anti-competitive and despite the overtures of Apple “exclusivity breads innovation” I don’t buy the argument.

I was very heartened to read recently in Business week that Apples exclusivity agreements for approved networks and applications is being seriously challenged in the US. I also love the idea of “jailbreaking” being (possibly) legalised in the US. I hope that this happens here

Business Week article