So whilst a number of suppliers are innovating and bringing new OSS based products to the marketplace, Becta must act decisively to ensure that neither they nor schools are disadvantaged by restrictive licensing agreements imposed by a dominant player.
Looking to the future once again, schools have a target of being carbon neutral by 2016. Given the complexity and power of modern school ICT systems how is Becta helping them to achieve this target?
SL: DCSF has set a target that all new school build should be carbon neutral by 2016, with the added intention that by 2020 all schools will be ‘sustainable schools’. Clearly the greater use of technology and the introduction of longer school days have the potential to raise energy consumption just at the time when we are trying to reduce them. So Becta in conjunction with its partners intends to help in a number of ways.
Firstly by working to increase the extent to which energy compliant products are procured and used by educational institutions. Secondly we will work to ensure that the energy efficient features of existing products are effectively used. We will also help with advice on how to use technology to help educational institutions reduce their environmental impact. Lastly but by no means least we will help institutions ensure that they reduce their use of IT related consumables.
We are becoming more active in this area and have useful guidance for schools online. At BETT this year we had a seminar on ICT and Environmental Sustainability and yes before you ask – it can be downloaded in Open Document Presentation Format.