On Tuesday this week we heard
edna is to be decommissioned commencing 30 June 2011 and be completed on 30 September 2011. This decision is the outcome of a recent review.
The seeds of the decommissioning go back quite a long way and will mark the end of an era. EdNA, Education Network Australia, renamed edna a few years back, has provided a range of quality and innovative services for nearly 12 years.
While perhaps it might be thought it had outgrown its usefulness, with the establishment of regional portals especially in the larger states, it is the loss of vision that we must mourn more than anything else, along with the loss of employment to a number of people, some of whom have worked on various parts of edna for a long time. For many of the smaller education systems edna "filled the gaps" with services they could not, and still do not, provide.
The extent of the outreach of edna services will only become apparent as targetted newsletters cease publication, RSS feeds that provided a range of ever updating Australian content into portals and education websites here and overseas die, and the edna calendar and edna database disappear. Other casualties are OzProjects and me.edu.au
Services like edna Groups (based on Moodle) and edna Lists (based on Lyris) will be rebadged under the ESA (Education Services Australia) with a greater DYI flavour.
The vision of a cost saving service that connected with all Australian education portals (and promoted them) began diminishing some years ago as those who contributed to edna's funding knuckled under through new calls on their overcommitted budgets.
Make no bones about it, the loss of edna brings with it too the loss of an expertise in the implementation of ICTs in education, particularly in more technical aspects of service provision, that exists nowhere else. Members of the edna team provided workshops and shared expertise Australia wide.
edna provided a high quality flagship service and enhanced the international reputation of Australian education.
A sad day.