Technology transfer by collaborative online education for climate change mitigation

Tom Worthington FACS HLM

Designer of the ACS and ANU Green Information Technology Courses

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University

For the APEC Symposium on Climate Change, Canberra, 29 October 2009

The first globally accredited Green Information Technology course for computer professionals commenced in on 18 January 2009. The course teaches techniques for a 15% reduction in emissions by 2020.

The course covers:

  1. Estimating the carbon footprint of the computer and telecommunications operations of an organisation
  2. Assessing ways to reduce the carbon footprint of an organisation, by changes to policies for procurement of computers and telecommunications, changes to operations and revising business processes

The course is conducted entirely via the Internet using Australia developed e-learning software. The course is offered by both the Australian Computer Society and the Australian National University at the postgraduate level.

The course notes are available online as a free web pages, as well as a paperback book and down-loadable e-book

First global Green ICT Course

Green ICT

Students learn how to:

Green ICT (Green IT or Green Computing) is the study and practice of using computers and telecommunications in a way which maximises positive environmental benefit and minimise the negative impact.

The energy efficiency of operating equipment is a major concern of Green ICT. The embodied energy and lifecycle of the materials used in the design, manufacture and reuse and recycling of equipment and components are also concerns. Green ICT seeks to inform accepted management practises to achieve efficient and effective business interaction.

Business ICT Competencies

The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides a common reference model for the identification of the skills needed to develop effective Information Systems (IS) making use of Information & Communications Technology (ICT).

Green ICT Strategies target SIFA Level 5 competencies: "ensure, advise: Broad direction, supervisory, objective setting responsibility. Influences organisation. Challenging and unpredictable work. Self sufficient in business skills".

Learning by Doing

Two areas of assessment:

  1. Assignments
    1. Write a report on the carbon footprint of the ICT operations of your organisation
    2. Write a report identify ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your organisation
  2. Contributions to the discussion forums

Students Teach Each Other

Moodle e-learning system provides:

  1. Online discussion forums
  2. Tools for students to author content

The tutors fostering discussion, not presenting content.

See: Computer Professional Education using Mentored and Collaborative Online Learning, David Lindley, IJCIM Special Issues on e-learning, Vol.15 No. SP4, November, 2007.

The ACS and the ANU use the Australian developed Moodle open source Learning Management System. This is used to provide forums for students to discuss what they are learning, not just receive content prepared by teachers. This also teaches students how to use the same online collaboration techniques in the workplace.

The techniques of using mentored collaborative online learning for computer professional education were developed for the ACS by David Lindley.

Online References Used

  1. The Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program, Sustainable IT Lecture Series, Natural Edge Project, 2008
  2. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), Green Electronics Council. GEC 2006.
  3. Energy Star Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, 2007
  4. The Personal Computer and Monitors Energy Efficiency Strategy, Tom Worthington, Report and Recommended Plan of Action, prepared for the Department of Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Version 1.0, 23 September 2008.

Some Green ICT Topics

More Information

Slides for these notes and a video of an earlier presentation (Part 1 and Part 2)are also available.

Copyright © 2009 (Version 1.02, 26 October 2009) Tom Worthington

Green ICT Strategies: Lowering Cost and Carbon Emissions with ICT by Tom Worthington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.