Information Technology Architecture: INTRODUCTION TO ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE
Upon analyzing this district's current state of there are three crucial discoveries. First, the district has the potential and capabilities of implementing an architecture development method to apply the vision of a continuum of improvement and meeting standards. Second, the district is functioning efficiently due to the redundancy of applications and systems, and communication barriers in what is perceived as structured organization, yet are operating as silos. Lastly, as technology is adopted and instruction shifts to meet the demands of 21st century skills, the district continues to work with a infrastructure designed on legacy of a typewriter era in the world of cloud based services where the district will continue to be reactive to the demands instead of adaptive.
This introduction to Enterprise Architecture allowed me to discover how systems and an architecture development method can not only be applied to education, but is crucial in order to function in a world where technology changes how we work now and the demands of on our education system in an uncertain future. An EA allows SEA and LEA to utilize technology in an infrastructure instead of just acquire technology and attempt to make it fit in an existing, traditional architecture. It is crucial for our education system to adopt a business framework in order to be efficient with resources, adapt to new challenges and meet objectives.
Currently, the district I am studying has a separate district education plan and technology plan. With the crucial role that technology plays in the daily functions of at the global level, the practice of planning education and technology separately is obsolete. It may keep a district afloat for NOW, but it does not prepare for the FUTURE OF STUDENTS or the district as an enterprise.
In their article, Exploring the Future of Enterprise Architecture: a Zachman perspective, Lapalme et. al. propose three future “Grand Challenges” that organizations using EA will need to consider and plan for: 1) Increased Complexity and Intensity, 2) New Realities and 3) Evolving Enterprise Architecting. (Lapalme et. al, 2016) In this article, truly challenging concerns that organizations will have to face new realities, complexity and changing/evolving architectures of the future are discussed and the impact will be great. The article goes on to provide potential practices for coping with these future “Grand Challenges.” If a district continues to function in the traditional sense of silos without communication, how will it fair when presented with these grand challenges in the near future? Changes and shifts are gaining momentum at a rapid pace due to technology, it can no longer be separate in any function in any organization.
The NIH brick model could be a powerful tool to use in my Special Day Class at the elementary level. Because I have three grades of students, each student with an IEP with individual goals, planning if and when to replace instructional tools needs to be done frequently, yet we have limited resources to implement such changes. Evaluating the process and considerations of replacing instructional programs, curriculum, tools and strategies with a brick would present a systematic approach to demonstrate the needs and support to implement changes in instructional tools, as well as plan for most beneficial time and tracking of other considerations for potential influences on such changes/updates. This could be valuable information for administration to know and understand to goals and developments of each unique Special Day Class as they all have such diverse demands and look different from year to year, site to site.
Finding a integrated platform on which all systems, Teaching and Learning, Administrative, Back Office, and Supplemental can communicate is the key to unify all the operations for school districts. I see areas where the district I am evaluating is not only working against themselves, but working double time with multiple applications for the same task. It seems the Technology Department is making small steps towards integrating systems, but this appears to be in part to hold off to take on what is perceived as the greatest challenge of adopting the “best” LMS system. The concern is of the life and capacity of a Learning Management System they commit to instead of looking at the bigger picture of the systems communication and adaptability. At this point LMS’s big and small have the potential to have the necessary capabilities to serve a K-12 district. In my opinion, there should be a mindset shift when looking to adopt a LMS. Instead of holding out for the best LMS to prove themselves top dog, the Technology leaders should consider service and adaptability that meet the district’s needs. It can look much like the preference of a department store or a boutique, the items you prefer are in both but which experience do you prefer? The mentality of waiting for the best to come out is a thing of the past. Many of the products exist that go beyond an LMS system, include SIS and streamline with existing functional applications. The decision comes down to the right fit for the district’s needs now and in the future.