Barrier Free Access Technology


Barrier Free Access Technology

This is my vision of what Barrier Free Access Technology would be like…

Traditional barriers

  • Open source – limited uptake / perceived high demand in the industry (i.e. LAMP stack – Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP)
  • More often proprietary solutions from Industry giants are used throughout i.e. Microsoft, Cisco, HP, IBM etc.
  • Education seems to either be Open Source focussed (hence limited value) or is behind the industry trends/current and upcoming advances



Real sandboxed virtual labs designed in collaboration with industry and educators to help drive a “best of breed” approach i.e. a combination of access to proprietary and Open Source technologies in a virtual cloud based environment

Cloud based solution would mean Any Device Access – so if the student is using a 10 year old laptop, they will still be able to access the latest technology as everything would be hosted on the cloud and no software would need to be downloaded to the student’s laptop

Using a Virtual Machine infrastructure (not simulations) would allow for creativity and collaboration.

Sandboxed environment would ensure that the users are safe and if they accidently break something, they can reset and start again.

Educators would drive the platform to setup challenges and lesson plans to direct the students to learn about particular features.

Expert Anywhere

A Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) would be needed to drive the Barrier Free Access Technology. But rather than be limited to just the virtual labs, this MOOC would be harnessed by providing online courses/master classes to the students. Leading them from the basics all the way to advanced courses.

Behind this a Community of educators, professionals and students will drive the collaborative learning and provide answers to questions for “cred” (hence gamifying the platform). Experts would drive the platform and that way content will always be fresh and current.

Rich eLearning content to explain concepts and to “self-test” to identify knowledge gaps. These tests would be “intelligent” as the knowledge gaps that it identifies it will automatically generate links to content which can help to fill gaps. All content will be tagged to allow for this to happen.


Courses completed should be earmarked for credit as part of a “Digital Diploma”. Currently only a US version of this exists ( The MOOC platform should align itself to UK Awarding Organisations to establish a UK Digital Diploma where credit from the MOOC and even other sources can be used.

Professional certifications from vendors (Google, Microsoft, Cisco etc.) should form part of this as this has global recognition.


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