reflections in response to Emerging Technology course EDUC 7108

Cloud computing

In his article “Current Trends in Educational Technology,” Thornburg (2009) discusses how a variety of new technologies are shaping and being shaped by society.

The field of education is greatly influenced by emerging technologies in society at large.  One new development emerging in technology is cloud computing.  Cloud computing is a metaphor for the internet, referring to web-based applications which allow users to utilize any interface to access their information.    Cloud computing “increase(s) capacity or add(s) capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT’s existing capabilities” (Knorr & Gruman, 2008).  This technology is in the process of emerging in K-12 school systems.  While it is not fully functional in all of its capacities at present, cloud computing has already made its mark in the area of information storage, and has huge potential for the future.  The primary benefit of this technology for schools is that the information is not stored locally (Pang, 2009).    Therefore, teachers can work on documents: planning, correcting, collaborating either at school or at home, using laptop, computer, or hand-held device.  The potential benefits for students with regard to group work, real-time collaboration even from remote geographical locations.  Google Docs is one example of online document collaboration tool, Drop Box is an example of storage application, spam filters, and mapping services are all examples of cloud computing technology. Some issues remain so far as security with this technology due to unauthorized use.  The technology for document creating and collaborating isn’t always stable and may not allow for formatting in the traditional sense.  Web-based storage is more stable, but less secure than collaboration tools. As the world wide web began to break down barriers of distance, and language in communication, cloud computing proves a great potential in collaboration tools among people separated by distance.  As the technology improves, greater security will be provided for collaboration, and storage of information, while implementation of new applications remain (Johnson, Levine, Smith & Stone, 2010).

Johnson, L., Levine, A., Smith, R., & Stone, S. (2010).The 2010 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Knorr, E., & Gruman, G. (2008). What cloud computing really means. InfoWorld. Retrieved from http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/04/07/15FE-cloud-computing-reality_1.html

Pang, L. (2009). Applying cloud computing to the classroom. Retrieved from http://deoracle.org/online-pedagogy/teaching-strategies/applying-cloud-computing.html

Thornburg, D. D. (2009a). Thornburg, D. D. (2009a). Current trends in educational technology. Lake Barrington, IL: Thornburg Center for Space Exploration. Lake Barrington, IL: Thornburg Center for Space Exploration.

Images:

http://communication.howstuffworks.com/cloud-computing.htm

You Tube explanation of Cloud computing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hplXnFUlPmg

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Comments on: "Module One: Current Trends in Educational Technology" (6)

  1. Great post on cloud computing! My district has been using Google Apps for almost three years. We have been gradually shifting into the cloud for many of our services including storage, filtering, and all the other things you mentioned. We are also interested in shifting our computers to the chrome operating system because it is cloud based as well. I am very excited at the potential cloud computing has as a low cost solution to technology issues in schools.

  2. mvining2451 said:

    Loren,

    Besides being able to share content away from school grounds, what is another advantage of cloud computing over private shared drives? Is it more cost efficient? I have not heard any discussion regarding cloud computing in our school, so I am trying to understand, so that I can share this concept with the tech team.

    Marci

  3. It will be very interesting to see how schools use cloud computing in the future.

    Lori, you also bring up a great point about potential security concerns that may arise with the growth of cloud computing. I’m a big fan of this technology, but we are putting a great deal of trust in companies that are storing our information.

    George, I’m just catching on to Chrome OS. I think your school district will be ahead of the curve if they choose to use Chrome as the preferred OS. I believe 2011 will be a big year for Chrome and tablets that use Chrome OS.

  4. By the way, my username shows up as ‘bluejfm’. This is Jeff Moore’s username. : )

  5. Hi Lori,

    As we have both selected to review the same topic, it would be interesting to share resources. I see cloud computing as a tool which will eventually be integrated successfully as a collaborative tool and as a storage tool similar to flash drives and emails. Many already use cloud computing’s options without associating it with the computing that stands behind it. For the class that I am teaching this winter module, I want to insist that all my students to save their files using the dropbox.com. This will eliminate the excuse of “I forgot my flash drive!”

    Great video, thanks for posting it.

  6. Hi Lori! Nice topic! My school has been converting to Google sites and Google docs this year. It has been very easy for us younger teachers to use it but some of the older educators not too familiar with technology aren’t liking it. Any suggestions to convince them otherwise?

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