Microsoft has published a reference architecture for K12. According to Microsoft:

“The Microsoft Technology Blueprint for Primary and Secondary Schools provides guidance to assist educational institutions in fully utilizing their current technology and migrating from their current state to a more efficient and effective institution.”

What’s key to linking technology to schools is the impact it will have on education quality and cost reduction. Specifically, how will the technology help help teachers allocate more time toward students, reduce their frustration and improve student learning.

Having designed several learning environments in K12 I’ve developed a framework for their design and deployment which helps institutions get from point A to B faster. The framework:

  • Link teachers, parents, students and administration
  • Information visibility
  • Empowerment through self service
  • Deploy new and improved services faster
  • Simplified and integrated desktop
  • Building blocks for new services
  • Platform leverage
  • Reduced support costs

The key to achieving benefits is the integration of incumbent application to create a rich virtual classroom experience and to reduce administrivia and IT costs. For example a classroom would have an integrated view of research, assignments, scoring and attendance. This approach reduces if not eliminates the fragmented and spaghetti like environments I encounter most every time I visit a school.