33 Replies Latest reply on Mar 24, 2013 11:11 AM by glen_w

    Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?

    vkajones

      Recently, my district has totally gone to the cloud. That is we have made an initative to implement cloud computing in the entire district. For years, my former department implemented Google Appls and doodled in a variety of different cloud resources. Now, we are implementing a "single sign-on" that gives both teachers and students access to important district files, resources and productivity appls. The "single sign-on" also gives students and teachers access to resources such as Learning.com, Atomic Learning, and BrainPop to name a few.

       

      Has your district gone to the Cloud? What are your thoughts about Cloud Computing? What are some examples of how your district is using Cloud Computer?  What needs to happen before it can be fully implemented?

       

      Vanessa

        • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
          fbobo

          Hello Vanessa

            I would like to say that my school district will be allowing teachers access to cloud  on every teacher's workstation. They have simplified the process for teachers to store documents and presentations in the cloud. They have created a district cloud for all the district's teachers to collaborate, communicate, and have easy access to any documents. I think this will definitely lead to less paper consumption by the district.

          • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?

            We are starting to do more in the Cloud. I love the idea of a single sign on to access things like Brain Pop etc. Right now, we have to login separately for each of those subscriptions. Do you have a subscription for each teacher to some of these services or is there a limit and as soon as you have reached the limit for that subscription then the next person is denied access? We don't have the same amount of licenses for the subscriptions so I'm not sure exactly how it would work. I'll have to check into that for my district.

            • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
              erroth

              I'm in Vanessa's district and I think the Cloud is great. I wish we had had it available sooner. I had already started using online resources such as google docs, dropbox, and others because of the great advantages of access and collaboration.

              • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?

                Vanessa, we here in Yavapai County are starting to look at the Cloud as a way for all of the schools to have access to more content and to better collaborate and communicate with each other.  Also, it should help contain cost for the districts.

                 

                The area of standardization could be a problem.  While one district might want to use Blackboard and another Moodle for their LMS, the county cloud will only be hosting one of two.  This is certain to pop up for other things as well and we will need to get everyone on board with what works best. If a districts chooses not to use a particular software, that is fine, but, they will need to purchase that on their own.  Cost savings, using the cloud, is a big advantage. 

                 

                Does that make sense?

                 

                Neil

                • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                  glen_w

                  I just posted Get it while it's FREE! - detailing an app that lets you use Microsoft Office with an iPad and Dropbox. This app might be the answer to helping my district move closer to being in the cloud. We still have many who seem very interested in making sure Microsoft Office is a major tool used in the district.

                  • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                    holmesg

                    We are doing a lot of negotiating, but have not gotten there yet.  Part of the problem is there are so many districts in our state that are purchasing from companies like united streaming and other similar companies, that it is not cost effective for the company to negotiate with the state.

                    • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?

                      Most of our iPads are on the cloud and the student (University) e-mail system is on the cloud. However with the faculty e-mail and other systems not on the cloud yet.....it is a mess! We really like being able to sync all of our iPads at one time. I think once we are all there, it will be a great thing! 

                        • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                          glen_w

                          Julie,

                          A couple of questions, as I'm trying to convince my principal why a 1:1 iPad solution would be useful.

                           

                          1. What system are you using to sync your iPads?
                          2. How many iPads do you sync at once?
                          3. How long are students without their iPad while syncing occurs?
                            • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?

                              Great questions!

                               

                              1. We actually have two systems. We have a cart with 30 iPads in it and it is ran through an HP system. We are an HP campus and what we had access to. I would not really recommend this system. Our Kindergarten class runs on its own system (6 iPads) and it runs through a Mac system and is much more successful.

                               

                              2.  We sync 30 iPads at once.

                               

                              3. The time really depends upons how many apps are loading. Our tech adminsitrator loads apps every two weeks and between new loads and updates, we are usually without them for an hour or less. It really takes her more time to round them up in classrooms than it does to sync them.

                               

                              Best of luck! We love them!!

                              • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?

                                Glen,

                                 

                                Just a little progress on our iPad project in Rapides Parish. The one class has now become two classes that are 1:1 with iPads!

                                 

                                Each class received a charging/sync cart that holds 30 iPads. The first cart contained iPad 1's and was being synced with a netbook (I have to agree with Julie, this is not the way to go) As a matter of fact, I think the directions for the cart say Mac computer...lol

                                It was a mess getting them all set up, only to find out iOS 5 was available and we had to restart the process...,,this time with a mac laptop.

                                I have to say iOS 5 with the icloud is a lifesaver. I still have a lab that I use for training and check out and all ipads are synced to one computer which makes downloading a breeze! Download from itunes and it is pushed out to all iPads.

                                 

                                The only problem I have run into is that, the teachers who check out the iPads have to use their own itunes account. I do not send the password for mine which the iPads are synced to.But, if a teacher purchases an app, they still have it available in the cloud if they ever get their own iPad. 

                                 

                                My suggestion IF you can swing it, is to push getting a mac laptop for the iPads. It just works a lot better.

                                 

                                Let me know how else I can help you with your endeavors. I have information on iPads and BYOT if you need it.

                                 

                            • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                              holmesg

                              The state is creating a plan for moving to the cloud.  The problem is individual school districts and policies in place that would prevent the individual districts having a smooth process.  I hope the one thing that the state initiative will do is force some type of uniformity among districts with the policy and how to best meet the needs of students.

                              • Report: Gartner Says Computing is Shifting to the Personal Cloud
                                vkajones

                                A new report from Gartner suggests that by 2014 users will store more of their data in the cloud than on their personal computers. Click link to see full story. Interesting..but it is what most of us already knew based on what is happening in our districts.

                                • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                  cgardne

                                  Many districts in Colorado have embraced the availability to safe within clouds as they have moved to google apps etc.  There are some some school districts that are still quite hesitant and uncertain as to why saving to the cloud is even beneficial.  I'm not sure why that uncertainty.  It might be because administration themselves do not.  In that case, more learning sessions needs to include those administrators.

                                   

                                  I am like Neil in the fact that I save almost everything to my cloud area.  I know that I usually can have access to my files from almost anywhere and I do not have to worry about carrying a flash drive or that worse scenario-- losing that flash drive.

                                   

                                  If I am doing a training I have saved my files within binders in a cloud http://livebinders.com

                                  If I am doing a training of great 2.0 tools and sites, then I love to use edu.symbloo.com

                                   

                                  I do share some documents files in both  google docs and skydrive.  If I am collaborating on a project, it just seems to be a more secure method rather than emailing back and forth.

                                  • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                    glen_w

                                    I just shared some new information about Dropbox in the discussion: Do you have your DRIVE yet?

                                     

                                    The main ideas are:

                                    1. You can "link" to any folder or file in Dropbox. This allows you to share the file(s). WARNING! If others share this link, it may be viewed by someone you werenot have been planning on. As always, be careful what you share!
                                    2. If you upload photos to your Dropbox account from either the Android OS app, or through folders on your Windows or Mac, you get bonus storage (up to 3 GB!)
                                    • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                      lwenske

                                      As Vanessa noted, we are using our District's Cloud.  It has been great in many ways, as now we can access our files (that we save on our district's server) from any internet connected computer.  This is great!  We can also access GoogleDocs and share them with colleagues easily.  However, the single login is not as great, I think, as most people are still logging into each item (gradespeed/gradebook, curric. resources, ecampus..), usually, separately, as the high use of the Cloud is just not there yet.

                                       

                                      I think some people tend to shy away from cloud computing in general b/c of a few issues...

                                      1)  If you're using a cloud entity like DropBox, there is some worry that, eventually, it will begin charging (as many other "free" sites now do).  However, I utilize DropBox to share items quickly with colleagues.

                                      2)  Within our district's shared GoogleDocs access, some of us worry, what would/will happen if/when we left/leave the district and the district takes away our email access (which is directly linked to our GoogleDocs access)??  Will we be able to get to the items we created?  I know we could share the items with ourselves....BUT, we wouldn't be owners of the content anymore, and shifting ownership in GoogleD's of items was not possible the last time I checked, which is a pain (sorry!, but true!!)...I'm hoping this will be solved.  For now, I use GoogleD's a lot with a group I work with within the district, as it's the only way we can find to stay on top of our many spreadsheets and forms of information as we work with National Board Candidates and their Mentors.  However, I have 3 separate accounts that are tied to GoogleDocs and ownership of my items is different for many of the items...tracking that is not so fun. 

                                      So, Cloud, yes, I'm all for it...and I do love finding out about the app (thanks, Glen!--it's still free!)....I'm just hoping things will only continue to improve---which I've learned from experience, they WILL!

                                        • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                          glen_w

                                          Lisa,

                                           

                                          I just tried to Change the Ownership of two files in Google Drive. I can successfully change ownership to someone else in the same domain as me - but cannot transfer it out of my domain. (For example, I cannot go from my school domain address to a personal gmail account.)

                                            • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                              lwenske

                                              Yes, Glen, that's what I've noticed....  The issue is that I had an email account associated with Google, (2 actually...b/c, I had initally used my work email, and then needed another for another reason)--then, when my district uploaded all of the users in our domain to use Google as well, I had to modify the account I was already using with my work email (make sense?).  Anyway, so now, I have 3 email addresses associated with my GoogleDocs' items....I want them to all be under my work email domain (or do I, if I leave the district and lose access?)---I want them all to share the same ownership; however, I don't think I can do that.  I think you're right---the documents would have to be under the same domain; though I have tried absolutely nothing with GoogleDrive just yet (thanks for the encouragement to try it, however---it's been on my list)...  And, if I end up losing the district email access, I am worried about my items---I really don't want to recreate them.  I know I can share them; I just want to transfer ownership of them.

                                                • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                                  glen_w

                                                  Lisa,

                                                   

                                                  I've been playing around my district Google docs to see how I can keep a copy of items on my personal account. I find the only way that works is to share the doc to my personal account, copy the document, delete the original shared document from my shared drive, and create a new copy by pasting in the original information. Kind of a hassle IMHO.

                                                   

                                                  Let us know if you find a simpler method for this.

                                                    • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                                      cgardne

                                                      I think you are correct.  Although when I made the document using the drive area and creating a doc, spreadsheet that way,  I could edit that as well as others without downloading and then reuploading.   I'm thinking that we should further research that.

                                                       

                                                      How is the weather your way?  We have several forest fires burning and lots of wind.  It's made it difficult for airplanes and helicopters to get in to try to help drench the fire.

                                                        • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                                          glen_w

                                                          It would be great to know a way to easily move documents from my work drive to a personal drive. I'm sure there are many hoping there is an easy way to transfer file ownership.

                                                           

                                                          Weather in Utah has been much hotter than usual. The heat has caused challenges with fire fighting here as well. Utah, however, does not have any blazes as large as seen in Colorado. I hope all the western states have a shorter fire season than normal.

                                                            • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                                              lwenske

                                                              Glen, I really appreciate you trying to help me solve one of my issues!  Honestly, though, the files giving me trouble are forms.  I use forms for parent/student information as well as parent input (and I use them a great deal with a National Board group I work with within our district so that people wanting to work within our group can let us know that in an organized manner).  I have not tried, as you suggested, but I'm thinking that with forms, I can't save it as a new form, so that I can move ownership to a new email account---However, I will have to try that next.  I really am grateful for the suggestions and for your time investigating! 

                                                                • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                                                  glen_w

                                                                  Lisa,

                                                                   

                                                                  I have successfully changed the ownership of several Forms to others in my district's domain. I have not tried to move the ownership outside of the domain. On a related note, I received information from a peer on steps I wanted to create in a form and was able to create these steps in my work domain. When ed. leaders at my school visit a classroom (on a walk-through, not an official visit), they fill out a form that auto-emails the teacher all form responses. Teachers and administrators all appreciate the prompt feedback.

                                                    • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?

                                                      Do they use a tablet or computer and do they fill out the form in the room?  Sound lk

                                                      • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                                        vkajones

                                                        Status Report. Roll Call!


                                                        It has been awhile since I first posted this. I just wanted to know how many of your districts now are using Cloud computing and to what extinct?  Do you integrate Google Apps with going to the cloud?  Share anything that your district may be doing differently with the cloud.



                                                        Vanessa

                                                          • Re: Has Your District Gone to the Cloud?
                                                            glen_w

                                                            Vanessa,

                                                             

                                                            My district implemented Google Apps last year. We were told student accounts would also be available. Just last month our students received their accounts. Unfortunately, our student accounts are in a different domain than teacher accounts. When teachers create a document for students to collaborate on, all students are unidentified users. Teachers in my building have begun providing students opportunities to use their Google Apps for assignments. Several students commented about how fun it was to build a presentation together online. All but one group in two teacher's classrooms used the chat feature appropriately!

                                                             

                                                            PROGRESS!!!