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JTC – Shared Services Day – Opening session

November 28, 2013

This post is part of Todd’s notes from the Alberta Education, School Technology Branch, sponsored, Shared Services Day.

Derek welcomed everyone and had a few opening words, encouraging everyone, and thanking everyone for being here. He briefly reminded us that there are a number of instances of folks working on shared services type projects already.

Angie talked about some housekeeping and updates.

Google Doc for Plenary:

Folder for Notes:

Angie asked a couple of good questions:
What is shared services?
Angie suggested that success in shared services is meeting policy directions 1 and 5 from LTPF. Especially policy direction 5. However, I’m thinking it is possible to reach policy direction 5 WITHOUT using any shared services. Perhaps her meaning was, we know shared services are successful when policy direction 5 is feasible as a result of the shared services.

Why do share services?
Angie asked everyone to complete a survey, which essentially had a pile of questions with opposing answers, hoping to get a feeling for the room. This survey required a choice of polarities. What is a polarity?


Angie used the graphic above as an example…

What does this mean to us?

At our table we had an opportunity to have a discussion about positives and negatives comparing local and provincial polarities in terms of shared services.

As we consider these polarities, are they an and/or system or can they be both. Our table had a delightful conversation around whether it can be looked at as Local AND Provincial vs. Local OR Provincial. Our consensus is that AND is possible, depending on the culture, the type of service, and where we are going with it. For example, the Provincial piece could be a negotiation, but the implementation could be done at a local level, and a shared between a handful of partners, and as a larger group – all could be possible.

What services do we share? (Hint: pretty much depends on why you’re sharing services, doesn’t it?)

Angie reminded us of the concept of Technology Platform for Learning – content/information, applications, devices, infrastructure.


But all of these are linked together. Can’t have great content without infrastructure. No point in having lots of devices if there is no content.

My table had head office staff, secretary treasurer types, GOA folks. It was a really good discussion, thanks everyone!



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