Transcript of Information Session on EdNA
Thu, 26 Oct 1995 20:22:41 +1000
The following, as requested by many people, is a transcript of my notes
from the presentation Evan Arthur gave last week to the Canberra Online
Users Group about EdNA. I have sent these notes to Evan, who has kindly
checked them over.
AN INFORMATION SESSION ON EdNA
a presentation by Evan Arthur
Head, Information Networking Taskforce
Department of Employment, Education and Training
Tuesday 17th October 1995
WHAT IS IT?
EdNA will be facilitated through the Internet. It is a collaborative
venture between the Commonwealth and State governments to determine if
there is some value in education systems acting cooperatively in the use of
computer systems and computer operations.
Three key areas of potential cooperation are:
b) network services
c) reception infrastructure
EdNA will endeavour to examine whether the products, services and methods
by which content is accessed by people in education in Australia can be
centralised into a single body. So, if you are seeking information, start
your search with EdNA. If you want to install hardware and need to know
costs, tech specs, etc, contact EdNA.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
EdNA needs the involvement of States and Territories. On the 26 May 1995,
a Ministerial Agreement was reached by the Ministerial Council for
Education, Employment and Training of the Youth of Australia (MCEETYA).
They agreed to set up processes for determining the content needs, network
services and reception infrastructure details by the 8 December 1995.
The main aim is to create a single space within 'cyberspace' where all
products and services of relevance to Australian Education can be easily
accessed (with one method of entry)
Currently, a number of sectors of education are making use of computers in
Education and there is a potential for islands of non-connectivity to
EdNA will attempt to make everything available to all educators
material will be organised that is easy to access and quick to access
The State and Territory Ministers have formed the Open Learning Technology
Corporation (OLTC). It will:
- trawl providers to develop an initial suite of content (what is there,
what are people developing already as content)
- create a (hopefully comprehensive) directory of products and services
- provide advice to Ministers on rules for appropriate content, the
categorizing of material and how to handle the presentation of this
- be required to give governance structure
For Network Services:
The OLTC will:
- endeavour to achieve lower costs through a collaborative approach in the
purchase of telecommunications and computer network services (than if the
sellers were approached individually).
Several forums have been set up involving people from government schools,
non-government schools, industry, higher education, etc, to look at these
issues and discuss with the OLTC.
A paper has been prepared "Business Requirements Analysis" and will be
published in the first week in November (but it has gone to the Ministers
A request for proposals to supply telecommunications structures has already
been published (in early October)
For Reference Infrastructure;
- endeavour to determine what numbers of computers required so as to
determine unit costs through collective buying power
- to define the configuration required
- to determine what are the prices in the marketplace
Where Can You Get More Info?
http://www.deet.gov.au and goto the /SpecialActivities menu item
Comments and Criticisms to: firstname.lastname@example.org
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: what are some early thoughts on the content make-up?
A: plan to produce some content for ourselves eg online databases (OLTC
negotiating with existing producers). Perception that there is not a lot
of good stuff there already and VERY LIGHT Australian stuff. Want to
provide incentive for content to be done and create a marketplace for it.
Want to provide pointers to material and also create classroom-usable
material. EdNA hopes to provide seamless connections to material. Also
want to circumvent products that are subscription drivers.
Q: How does the process work to identify those items?
A: talk to the organisations in the field; search through the Net to see
what is already available. EdNA doesn't want to replace content but point
to and give ongoing impetus to them. Create ongoing resources for
Australian education. EdNA doesn't aim to become a network manager. Most
of the functionality is going to be maintained by the service providers but
the intellectual property of the directory structure to reside with OLTC
OLTC will be a gateway for organisations - a structure where decisions made
will reflect the broad consensus of the stakeowners. Don't want a
structure where too much representation or too little.
Q: who pays for the infrastructure?
A: initial capital costs of infrastructure to schools, as well as their
Q: Rate of installation dependent on how fast the States want to go?
A: Correct. This is a State business (education), not Federal. Aim to
concentrate where there is consensus, not threaten.
Q: Addressing the issues through, say, schools and curriculum
organisations, what is the appropriate role for Commonwealth funding that
is not already part of the EdNA initiative?
A: EdNA is saying that the current services are too expensive and the
structure of pricing is wrong, eg, schools need long connect times. So the
current pricing model is inappropriate. We have to achieve better as a
centralised group, otherwise the whole exercise is pointless.
The OLTC has an ongoing budget paid by States, Territories and the Federal
government. OLTC has to address what the core budget needs are going to be
and what are its terms of contribution.
Q: So isn't the bucket of money for content now?
A: There are several sources but not per se. There are existing projects
producing content but not formally any from the OLTC. OLTC aims to promote
and make effective use of existing content.
Q: What about support for independent initiatives? Is there assistance
for putting content together for schools?
A: EdNA can help to organise: how to organise content; how to deal with
Internet access; how to disseminate to everyone. EdNA will provide a
central dissemination point.
Q: Canberra Times says that there is no difference between EdNA and CIN?
A: not clear of CIN because it is still evolving. CIN pilot was a private
network. EdNA is different. People are creating the network structure we
need and info on what is the best way of buying this service. It depends
on what works best - do you buy services for the education market or create
them all at once. If CIN and EdNA are both doing this sort of thing, then
we should cooperate in areas of strategic advantage - but it does depend on
the CIN initiative that develops.
Q: ABC is dealing with OpenNet - what is their future?
A: EdNA is not an online service provider - it doesn't matter where the
material is placed. What matters is the commercial and directory
arrangements for people
to access it. EdNA will state what they want, tenderers will have to tell
how they will supply it.
Q: Can teachers be content providers and be paid for it?
A: anyone can be a content provider, even small groups of people, eg
teachers or students. You have to keep directory structures abreast of the
content. To be paid?....possible to charge for material:
(a) access for cost of connection
(b) material on a subscription basis
(c) material on a transmission basis
Educational systems will have to work out who owns the content
intellectually - not EdNA.
Trisha Benson President,
Canberra, ACT ACT Schools Internet
Australia User Group
(Agriculture Teacher and Librarian
Stromlo High School)
Phone: 61 6 2056435 (w)
Fax: 61 6 2056135