Friday, January 02, 2009

e-Learning Course on Green ICT Strategies: Part 13 - More Pragmatism

In Part 12 I discovered I had scheduled two week sevens as part of preparing a new e-learning course on "Green IT Strategies", to be offered as part of the ACS Computer Professional Education Program. Having merged some of the topics so I had the required number of weeks for the course I got on with preparing the remaining content. This became progressively more difficult as I got to the more esoteric topics, such as quality management and auditing.

Also I asked my colleagues at the ANU to check the course details, which they proceeded to do in forensic detail. They found several errors in the first sentence. By the time they got to the end of the first paragraph I started to regret asking for comment, but these were all useful suggestions.

One frustration was that some of the standards used for ICT and environmental purposes are formal ISO ones. As a result the text of the standards are not freely available, ISO and its national counterparts, such as Standards Australia, sell copies of the standards. These standards are therefore not freely available online. There are many references to the standards, but little of use for students trying to understand them.

Another frustration continues to be material which is freely available, but in large PDF files. The Australian Government has provided the full text of a proposed Draft National Carbon Offset Standard, but it is tacked on the end of a discussion document in a PDF file.

However, hopefully many of those frustrations are now behind me. The revised Green ICT Strategies Course Outline is done, along with twelve weeks of content, two assignments and readings:

Weekly outline

Green ICT Strategies (GICTS) is a new subject in the Computer Professional Education Program of the Australian Computer Society. The officially approved course description is available on the ACS web site, for which enrolments are open until 11 January 2009 for Study Period 1 (18 January to 19 April 2009).

This is a working draft of the course material for 2009. For background on why the course is being prepared, see: "Educating ICT Professionals on Energy Efficiency". For details on how, see: . Most material is being prepared under an open access licence. Contributions and comments are welcome.

The ACS CPeP program is the first in the world to be globally accredited. Enrolments can be in the Green ICT subject alone, or as part of the full CPe Program. Credit towards Graduate Diploma and Master courses are offered by university articulation.

18 January 24 January

Week 1: Introduction to Green ICT Strategies

Understand environmental, social and business context for sustainability, and overview of background, boundaries.

25 January 31 January

Week 2: The Global ICT Footprint

Estimate the embodied carbon and the footprint from use of telecommunications, data centres and desktop PCs.

1 February 7 February

Week 3: Enabling ICT

Investigate how ICT systems can reduce energy and materials use by improving the efficiency of business systems by replacing the movement of goods with information (dematerialisation), improve the efficiency of machines (smart motor systems), logistics, buildings and grids.

8 February 14 February

Week 4: Energy saving - Data Centres and Client Equipment

Computers and telecommunications equipment contributes about 2% to greenhouse gas emissions. Look at how data centres and client equipment can be made more efficient.

15 February 21 February

Week 5: Materials Use

Energy reduction is only part of making a Green ICT system, there is also the issue of use of materials and hazardous substances.

22 February 28 February

Week 6: Methods and tools

Ensure that appropriate methods and tools for the planning, development, operation, management and maintenance of systems are adopted and used effectively throughout the organisation.

1 March 7 March

Week 7: Business process improvement

Recommend alternative solutions which reduce environmental impact, assesses feasibility, and recommends new approaches. ICT has the potential to provide significant environmental improvements, by replacing energy and materials consuming processes with more efficient ICT ones. How do you analyse business processes to identify alternative solutions which reduce environmental impact, assesses feasibility, and recommends new approaches?

8 March 14 March

Week 8: Improving Data Centre Energy Efficiency

Investigate how to implement and assess data centre efficiency.

15 March 21 March

Week 9: Enterprise Architecture

The business of business is business, so any environmental goals have to fit into the systems capability strategy which meets the strategic requirements of the business. How do you incorporate Green ICT into the models and plans to drive forward the strategy, taking advantage of opportunities to improve business performance, as well as environmental benefits?

22 March 28 March

Week 10: Procurement

Much of the environmental benefits come about by selecting the right products and services. How do you write ICT requirement documents to ensure that your hardware, software and services suppliers provide green products?

29 March 4 April

Week 11: Energy Star Program and Quality Management

Ensure that the processes for producing a product or service sustainability will do so to a consistent standard. Investigate the fit between US EPA's Energy Star Program and those of Quality Management Systems.

5 April 11 April

Week 12: Compliance audit

Assess the conformity of corporate systems to environmental standards, such as ISO 14000 series of environment management standards, Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), and Energy Star Program.

12 April 18 April

Week 13: Review and discussion for assignment 2 - Prepare to go out and save the world

Let us revisit the reasons we are studying Green ICT: to maximise positive environmental benefit and minimise the negative impact. What specific processes will you propose in Assignment 2, to improve energy efficiency and the use of materials in your organisation?

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