Why do I think like this on a Sunday night, when I could be watching football, or playing lego’s with my son…But instead, I am consumed with this quote I read, and even though I don’t even own a server currently, and don’t pay for running a Data Center, the point of this quote really hit me hard when I apply it through my eLearning 2.0 filter.
“People think that a $2,500 server is so cheap you don’t need to worry about it. But over three years, the cost of electricity—$750 in a good location—nearly equals the cost of the server, and that’s without the Capital Expenditures for building the data center or the cost of running it. The idea that servers are cheap so we don’t need to be very careful about managing them does not reflect economic reality.”
(The Wild, Wild Cost Of Data Centers, Kenneth Brill, 5/12/08)
Transposing this idea into the eLearning 2.0 world, one gets the staggering estimate – even though initial cost (albeit very high to start with) to create online courseware using Instructional Designers (and ADDIE method) can run between $3,000 – $30,000 per delivered hour – that the total cost of ownership for that online courseware hour might be equally as high after the product is produced. Ongoing maintenance costs ranging from the adaptation to emerging standards (SCORM, AICC etc), compatibility of interactives to updates to players (Flash, Shockwave, Java, Silverlight, Quicktime etc), and of course, the hosting and delivery costs to the student. The entire story is enough to make some people desire mailing CDROMs to their students and hoping that the technical support line (in India) can be paid for more easily than the guaranteed ongoing costs to deliver the training online.
And that summary does not even include 2nd order maintenance, that could include extracting additional metadata from the courseware for use in emerging content registries (such as ADL-R or other CORDRA implementations).
Back to Lego’s – since there is no ongoing maintenance cost – just a one-time acquisition cost, and lots of inspiration/creativity from there.