Sunday, 1 September 2013

Beyond BCeSIS--will there be a difference?

Finally the BC Ministry of Education got the message that the student information system, BCeSIS, is inadequate and gets in the way of effective recording and reporting on student development.  Last year the Ministry started a process of buying something new.

The new program has been selected and implementation is to begin.  The Ministry's choice is a new software program, but the same people running it that have been running BCeSIS. 
The new software is called Aspen, and the old--and new--service provider is Fujitsu.  A dozen companies put in proposals, three were asked to provide more detail, and Fujitsu was chosen.

Fujitsu has been in charge of many of the elements of BCeSIS--providing and managing the servers, providing the documentation, responding to the glitches, developing the training, providing support.  They will now be in charge of the same elements of the new system.  Presumably they were able to offer a better financial deal because they already have an infrastructure in place with BCeSIS.
The major change is in the software, moving from "esis" to Aspen.

Few BC  teachers have seen the new software and developed an opinion on whether it will be a satisfactory system.  It has been adopted in a number of states in the U.S., but that isn't necessarily a positive factor.
In the meantime, work is proceeding on an alternative, open-source student information system.  Called OpenStudent, it is being developed by a team in the Saanich school district.  Several school districts have signed on to use this system rather than a new BCeSIS and are piloting it in schools.  Information on this system can be found at





No comments:

Post a Comment