Google's new patent database search engine has led me to some more education system patents, which it is hard to believe that someone who actually knew something about computers in education would ever have granted. This System and method for network-based personalized education environment is a case in point. Here's the abstract:
"A system and method of providing personalized information to an individual over a network includes accessing a competency profile of the individual, such profile accessible to a server on a network and comparing the individual's competency profile with an education template and behavioral scenario accessible to the server. The template defines a current desired standard for the individual's competencies, in order to identify target training or learning areas. Information content relevant to the individual's target training or learning areas is provided over the network via user-selectable items of information content that may collectively have a plurality of information product types."
In other words a system to allow someone to tick some boxes on an electronic form so that the system can check through a list of provider courses and suggest a suitable one for that individual. Honestly! For 36 years people have been contacting the Open University to find out if we might have a course or degree programme that would suit them and then signing up for appropriate courses. Is anyone seriously expecting me to believe that now we carry out this process over the Net as well as face to face and via telephone that we might be infringing this ridiculous patent?