Massachusetts is using the Virtual Education Space (VES)
initiative to help its 357 school districts share administrative tools,
help teachers share ideas and provide an online desktop for students to
do their work anywhere, anytime. VES is a PreK-12
platform initiative that aims to give teachers, students and parents
online access to educational resources.
VES is part of a larger trend in education that makes communication and
collaboration around curriculum, administration and student learning
essential. A key driver of the VES initiative is the need to manage the
rising costs of PreK-12 infrastructure. VES is focused on building a
shared infrastructure that has a low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in
terms of administrative and staff resources, allowing more money to be
spent in the classroom.
The case study illustrates the core business reasons and benefits for
choosing SunTM Open Net Environment (Sun ONE). The case study also
shows the architecture objective of VES and the central role Sun ONE is
playing in translating the VES vision into reality.
For VES aims to create a set of collaborative tools designed to:
- Raise student achievement
- Transform teaching and learning one classroom at a time
- Share educational services, curriculum, assessment and instructional
- Enable accountability--responsibility and liability--through the
Accomplishing these goals requires a set of online portals designed to
support a personalized and secure learning environment. At the same
time, the online environment must allow districts to integrate their own
tools and applications, promoting interoperability and providing value
VES Design and Architecture
The VES application is designed as a set of modules. The modules have
been identified in the VES design phase, where groups of similar data
and functionality were grouped together in multiple scenarios:
curriculum management, instructional design, instructional
management, messaging, collaboration and student work. The VES
application design is divided into multiple tiers:
- The Client tier: Responsible for presenting data to the user in a
heterogeneous desktop environment, interacting with the user and
communicating with the other tiers of the application.
- The Web tier: Responsible for performing all Web-related processing
and managed by a centralized portal serving HTML pages, integrating
multiple Web pages, transforming XML and formatting device independent
JavaServer PagesTM (JSPTM) pages for display by browsers.
- The Enterprise JavaBeansTM tier: Responsible for the application
modules such as curriculum management and the core infrastructure
elements like security, directory services and other shared
- The Enterprise Information System (EIS) tier: Responsible for linking
to enterprise information (data) infrastructure.
Sun ONE--Enabling a Robust VES Infrastructure
The issues of scalability, availability,
extendibility and application integration that VES deems as core
requirements are the tenets around which the entire Sun ONE
architecture is built. These are also some of the issues that
enterprises deploying large-scale, mission-critical applications care
The scalability, manageability and all the other abilities of
the Sun ONE family paid off. With a small staff, VES is now able to host
and manage a very large server environment.
For more details on the case study:
Read More ...