What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to expandable, on-demand services and tools that are served to the user via the Internet from a specialized data center and do not live on a user’s device. Cloud computing resources support collaboration, file storage, virtualization, and access to computing cycles, and the number of available applications that rely on cloud technologies have grown to the point that few institutions do not make some use of the cloud, whether as a matter of policy or not. Cloud computing is often used as a synonym for grid computing, in which unused processing cycles of all computers in a single network are leveraged to troubleshoot issues that cannot be resolved by a single machine. The primary distinction is how the host computers are accessed. Clouds, especially those supported by dedicated data centers, can be public, private, secure, or a hybrid of any or all of these. Many businesses, organizations, and institutions use storage, software (SAAS), and API services to reduce IT overhead costs. Google Apps, a SAAS provider, for example, has become a popular choice for education institutions and many have moved their email infrastructure to Gmail and adopted Google Docs for document sharing and collaboration, but such services do not meet the high security needs of many corporations or government agencies. Private cloud computing solves these issues by providing common cloud solutions in secure environments. Hybrid clouds provide the benefits of both types. Whether connecting at home, work, school, on the road, or in social spaces, nearly everyone who uses the network relies on cloud computing to access or share their information and applications.

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Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 8, 2012

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

  • add your response here- kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 8, 2014I think that our students, and faculty for that matter, are slowly starting to move increasingly to using the cloud as a mechanism to store, access and share content. For the most part, I think that consumers want to be able to access secure systems in a seamless way that enables them to share content (and interaction) across devices, but also with other people. The ability to hold and move information in the cloud frees users up from the requirement to be in a particular place to learn and means that engaging in the learning activity can genuinely occur at the time and in the place that best suits them. This of course can equally be on or off the campus.
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • add your response here- kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 8, 2014The challenge is going to be the IT part of the institution to figure out how cloud can be harnessed (as opposed to controlled) to provide optimal access in a secure and safe environment.
  • - daniel.ingvarson daniel.ingvarson Feb 20, 2014 Notion of "what is left to manage" to be the core of IT services in education. and what is left is Identity management and aggregation of relevant information to inform teaching and learning. Data is the Oil of the Information age and we need to ensure that key usage information that can be used to improve learning analytics is not lost to the cloud

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

  • - daniel.ingvarson daniel.ingvarson Feb 20, 2014 CIO's are outsourcing the implementation of IT, SAAS is clouds killer app, but for that to work the data needs to flow between the CORE IT services and the SAAS and relevent information returned back to the core (eg assessment results) .
  • - daniel.ingvarson daniel.ingvarson Feb 20, 2014 where to start - Er its the internet - but coordinated with services linked together into a digital ecosystem

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

  • All k-12 Education government departments have some form of SAAS, The new national Testing Service will be delivered to Jurisdictions via this.
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