Tag "online-schools"

E-Curriculum Technology

solutionE-Curriculum Technology

The delivery of curriculum through electronic means is a growing trend in America. Using a Community Technology Center (CTC) to compile and deliver e-curriculum serves not only the community of residence; it also allows businesses, home-schoolers, and public and private schools across the nation low cost access to state-of-the-art curriculum. This paper will examine internal and external elements of procurement, supply chain management, and distribution as applied to the development of this project.

Procurement

“Electronic commerce decreases the cost of creating, processing, distributing, storing, and retrieving paper-based information. For example, by introducing an electronic procurement system, companies can cut purchasing administrative costs by as much as 85 percent.” Pg. 62 Several methods are used for electronic procurement of e-curriculum. Cyber savvy teachers with a passion for sharing regularly post their achievements to electronic repositories. Traditional textbook manufacturers are developing their own brand of e-curriculum. Bundled thematic units are being created by teacher collaboratives, electronic curriculum developers, and even companies that are aligning practical academic knowledge bases with real-world applications.

An active procurement process involves setting up extranets with the variety of suppliers as well as curriculum analysts. Procurement also involves leveraging existing systems, resources, and repositories as functional pieces for intranet and extranet purposes, with ultimate application across the Internet and World Wide Web. Using intelligent agents, the results of searches for state-of-the-art curriculum can also categorize and identify preferred curriculum bundles and/or subjects. This feature should increase utility for customer relationship management as well in fulfilling specific requests. In the case of specific curriculum developers, the agents can identify and compare relative factors within examinable parameters on supplier websites and return ranked scores for internal analysts. Intelligent agents can also be used to seek out teacher-made curriculum, contacting potential candidates, and notifying internal resource developers for follow up on potential suppliers. Collaborative alliances will develop as the project evolves because of the nature of educators’ willingness to support a collective approach to solving many of the problems with traditional curriculum delivery.

Supply Chain Management

“A more recent trend, however—direct-to-consumer selling—is driving an even larger logistics shift in the U.S., according to Ron Riggin, vice president and general manager of MARC Global Systems. MARC is a global supply chain execution (SCE) systems provider for tier-one and -two customers at hundreds of sites worldwide. The latest 3PL trend is application hosting, a.k.a. ASP. ASPs disseminate logistics applications over private networks or the Internet from a location other than the customer’s. “The world is moving back to data centers, like 20 years ago when IT occupied the IBM universe,” said Mr. Riggin. “Especially in the last year to 18 months, IT architecture has been moving to the ASP model via intranets. Now, with Web technology, ASPs and 3PLs can deliver software on demand to end users in real time. You get local processing ability but central management.” (Navas, 2003)

Designing the CTC with data center capacity increases electronic disintermediation in the B2C supply chain. Storage of electronic curriculum on local servers increases uptime and deliverability to local clients via intranets and distance clients via extranets and the Internet. Once the hardware infrastructure is in place, intelligent agents will again deliver accessible product for perusal, acceptance or rejection, and categorization for inclusion in the e-catalog of available material or queued for additional screening. Licensing and User Agreements will promote low-cost accessibility for low-income communities, un- or under-employed professionals and small businesses. Through collaborative alliances and consumer survey development, suppliers can further refine products for specific clients and extend their product development potential.

Distribution

Clients will include on-site users at the CTC, home-schoolers, life-long learners, small businesses, and charter, district and private schools. The distribution model includes our ultimate consumer satisfaction, supply chain management, and relationship building marketing model to ensure future growth and sustained use. Although the direct link between producer (in the case of teachers) and consumer may not be possible, the capacity to collect and store data, concerning curriculum, allows an ever-greater market for the individual or collaborative teacher teams.

The CTC infrastructure increases the capability to deliver the e-curriculum through the internal LAN and across intranets, extranets, and the Internet. Special intelligent agents are again involved to monitor access and means of distribution in order to increase customer satisfaction, monitor internal processes within the software systems, and continue quality delivery to end users. In-house servers with DS3 lines ensure enough bandwidth availability during peak accessing times so that the real-time delivery is not interrupted.

It is also conceivable that collaborative alliances will develop as distribution channels grow. Many charter schools are hampered by the high cost of e-curriculum packages that are poorly serviced once they are delivered and installed. Third-party distribution channels will develop through the relationships that are built with schools and small businesses, expanding the delivery capacity of e-curriculum. Using the intranet server within the CTC as an application warehouse helps to reduce maintenance and support problems.

 

References

E-Business Principles and Practices, © 2002, Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing

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