Back in May of 2009, I asked if anyone had any thoughts on cloud computing and how it related to school budgets. I didn't get a lot of responses (thanks for yours Glen ). A year later and with budget problems from coast to coast, I am curious to see how and if cloud computing is starting to catch on. I look forward to your responses.
Neil - I think that more education on what cloud computing is would help move things along - I like the Common Craft Cloud Computing in Plain English. It is simple and it makes sense. The more people know and understand Cloud Computing the more open school districts, and their supports will be in considering this as an option.
I also found the following article interesting to read - Cloud Computing in Government of course there is a brief mention of education and the movement of the government even creating their own Cloud Computing business.
In order for Education to migrate to Cloud Computing people are going to have to look at things differently - of course the bottom line is going to weigh considerably on a districts choice move in this direction. Instead of looking at something that will work for a school or a district it may be more cost effective to look for a solution that would meet the needs of a county or state and in education that is a lot of minds coming together.
Do a Google Search for iPad and Cloud Computing. You will be surprised at the number of articles and thoughts regarding the change in technology. Bottom line is I think that you were before your time - and the iPad is helping bring Cloud Computing front and center.
I too am curious on what others think.
Julia, back when I first posted this, I usually got blank stares when I talked about cloud computing. At least today, more people at least have heard of it. So, that's progress.
Are there any of you in the community that work in a district that has started to embrace cloud computing? I would love your input.
I recently learned that my district is considering using Google Apps for Education. I have volunteered to be the pilot program and test this out. I would enjoy the challenge of finding the good, the bad, and the ugly of cloud computing.
During this last semester, I had a student teacher. She could not use her laptop on the school’s network. (Don’t even ask … it’s an IT issue!) She wrote her lesson plans, student handouts, etc. at home and uploaded them to Dropbox. We shared a Dropbox folder so she easily accessed all her files at school using my computer.
I’ve heard other schools and districts have begun using Google Apps. I would like some examples (good and bad) so I can encourage my IT department to let me pilot another project!
I'm so excited to have the possibility of learning from your PLC's. My email address is in a private message to you now.
Thanks for being willing to consider options on how we can help move the IT mountains we face.
Together we can help develop ideas that encourage success.
Things come in cycles sometimes. My school discussed an older version of Cloud computing about 10 years ago when the "thin client" was a little more popular. At that time there wasn't a lot of webbased software for the special ed students that we were dealing with and in each room they had different software depending on the needs of the students so it wasn't too practical.
In this money crunch time the concept has developed and many schools are looking at it as an alternative. There are companies in our area that have donated computers to schools and with the Cloud computing option it is a little more appealing. I think we need to be creative in how we use our resources. Some districts are very concerned about "where" their information is and won't consider something like Google docs and others are more open to webbased applications.
JoAnn, I agree with your statement about some districts not "knowing" where their information is located and therefore would never use something like Google Docs. I disagree with those that have that mindset. If it's personal information, that is one thing, but not allowing teachers to use the docs to collaborate is another. Some of the districts I work with are concerned about virus', and that is a legitimate point, but, Google has too much to lose if they don't keep that under control.
Does your employer allow you to use Google Docs?
Great thread everyone! I too get the this same questioned asked several times per month "Cloud Computing-What's up with that?" So..... I have found a great and simplistic slideshare to provide the basic overvies for educators: Coud Computing 101 >http://www.slideshare.net/christopher.yeo/cloud-computing-101
I work a lot with Higher Ed as well and I always refer to Educause for straight forward answers: >http://www.educause.edu/node/645/tid/27148?time=1272984617
I am also attaching a Cloud Computing 2 page PDF from Educause about cloud computing that is a great handout for your upcoming workshops.
Naomi, thank you so much for the 2 page PDF from Educause about cloud computing. I will be running it off to show those in the IT departments that the "Cloud" is not the enemy. I really liked the idea of "private" clouds. That opens so many doors for school districts around the United States to collectively work together to lower costs. And in today's world, lower costs is where we live.
Thanks for sharing,
I just posted Get it while it's FREE!- detailing an app that lets you use Microsoft Office with an iPad and Dropbox. The price of this app and Dropbox (FREE) actually fit in the budget of most teachers and districts.