What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to expandable, on-demand services and tools that are served to the user via the Internet from specialized data centers and consume almost no local processing or storage resources. Cloud computing resources support collaboration, file storage, virtualization, and access to computing cycles, and the number of available applications that rely on cloud technologies has grown to the point that few education institutions do not make some use of the cloud, whether as a matter of policy or not. Over the past few years, cloud computing has been firmly established as an efficient way for businesses to protect data, develop applications, deliver software and online platforms, and to collaborate. Education institutions are deploying similar cloud-based strategies to boost collaboration, productivity, and mobility in teaching and learning.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • More and more are put in the cloud through O-365, Dropbox, Google+ etc. The advantages are obvious whit increased accessibility and possibilities to share. - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen
  • - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Feb 13, 2015Several years ago an American library specialist already had his division in the cloud, which added to huge savings in terms of software and hardware. No devices like Google Chromebooks provide inexpensive access to cloud based operations, but a school needs a sufficiently robust Wifi network to handle this.
  • - jon.k.price jon.k.price Feb 17, 2015In the last several school and classroom studies I have participated in, I have seen much of "The Cloud". The ability to store data, artifacts, etc is clearly gaining momentum. The true power of this technology is that it "can" make the learning more visible to the teacher - thus providing critical assessment services. This is where the true value is - when the cloud doesn't just store information but it allows use and integration with other resources.
  • Cloud based resources are becoming an expectation. We want our information accessible anytime and anywhere and Cloud based resources are offering this. Continuing to provide ease of access, ease of use, storage, and collaboration are very beneficial and cost effectiveness will play an important role. Security is always a concern for sensitive information. - kayj kayj Feb 18, 2015Agree. The security feature is pushing us to begin looking more at our own District cloud. I don't invision leaving O365 or GoogleEDU, but I do see us increasing the amount of other data and services accessible via a district cloud. Moving us off the wide variety of services such as Box, DropBox, Sugarsync, et.al. that employees and students are storing data on to a district owned and operated solution is becoming increasingly important. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Feb 22, 2015
  • Easier Access, lower costs and facilitation of sharing are some of the obvious advantages seen from a regional School owner perspective.- oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen Feb 20, 2015
  • I think that "cloud" plays an important part in the consumerization/personalization of technology that we are all experiencing in our personal and professional lives. We all use multiple devices and screens throughout the day as we live our digital lives. The cloud allows us to glue the digital experience together across the myriad of devices that we use. It is an enabling technology that is a core component that we build other exciting classroom technologies on top of. - gtdeyoung gtdeyoung

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • - jon.k.price jon.k.price Feb 17, 2015For lack of a better word - lets call it "Rain". The cloud is only one part of the equation. The ongoing tools technologies and platforms that enable the circular transfer & USE of all that data in the cloud must be considered & built into the infrastructure and ecosystem. Agree- deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 22, 2015
  • I think that one of the key themes that is missing from most discussion about use of cloud in K12 is that the more a district adopt it, the more the IT department can concentrate on education enablement, while spending less time on IT operations.- bobmoore bobmoore Feb 21, 2015
  • For the cloud to work "seamlessly" as we use multiple devices the infrastructure that supports it needs to be very robust particularly in the school context so investments have to be made at school level to ensure this. - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 22, 2015
  • As more and more use is made of the cloud and more data is stored there will have to be serious consideration of privacy and ethical issues. - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 22, 2015- digitalroberto digitalroberto Feb 22, 2015
  • See my comment above on District owned/operated cloud services. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Feb 22, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Feb 13, 2015I think this is going on now and could proceed more strongly. It ends up saving schools a lot of money in software purchases, especially where kids have more one to one devices.
  • - jon.k.price jon.k.price Feb 17, 2015 Agree. However, I see mature markets that have multiple competitors in this area - building on each others successes upon an infrastructure that optimizes use. Major impact will come in the emerging economies when technology is understood beyond the student & teacher device to include the school infrastructure, and LMS that allows student, teacher & parent access to data for assessment & communication.

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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