Learning to lower carbon emissions with e-Learning and Social Networking

Tom Worthington FACS HLM

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University

Designer of the Green ICT Course for the Computer Professional Education Program, Australian Computer Society

For the Greening ICT to address Global Downturn and Global Warming Symposium, ANU, Canberra, 19 February 2009

The first globally accredited Green ICT course for computer professionals commenced on 18 January 2009. This demonstrates that e-learning can be used to both teach energy reduction management skills to ICT professionals but also how to use online management. Students can then apply those skills to social networking based decision making in their companies and government agencies.

Students learn how to:

The courses is conducted entirely via the Internet using Australia developed e-learning software. A face-to-face version of the course is planned for ANU's Masters program in the second half of 2009.

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

e-learning social networking web sites provides:

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

The tutors foster discussion, not present 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 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

  1. Understanding climate science
  2. The Global ICT Footprint
  3. Enabling ICT: Dematerialisation, smart motor systems, logistics, buildings and grids
  4. Energy saving - Data Centres and Client Equipment
  5. Procurement
  6. Compliance audit

Note: Part 2 of the video of the presentation starts at the point.

More Information

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

Copyright © 2009 (Version 1.0, 18 February 2009) Tom Worthington

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