reflections in response to Emerging Technology course EDUC 7108

Cloud computing is a metaphor for the internet, referring to web-based applications which allow users access to their information from work, home, school, or any remote location, so long as they have access to the internet.  Since “information “sits” on a cloud in a centralized location which can easily be retrieved, cloud computing not only changes how we store and retrieve applications and files, but also how we communicate and share them with other members of our group, and how organizations restructure and modernize their IT infrastructure” (Hirsch, 2010).

Cloud computing enhances collaboration:  among colleagues, in classrooms, to provide a forum for projects of all types.  By working on a network, the information created on isolated personal computers  can be collectively manipulated by remote users, as is the case with a program such as Google Docs, or posted and responded to as with a blog or wiki (Owen, 2010).

Cloud computing obsoletes the limitations of physical space, whether it be on a computer, or in a flash drive.  Expensive programs become obsolete such as the Microsoft Office suite.  Copyright and intellectual property laws and infringements are also becoming obsolete as a result of socially constructed work.

Computing on the cloud also rekindles a sense of commonwealth, a social concept from the past in which the work of one or some is used for the improvement of all.  We also regain a sense of control over our media input that was lost by these same technologies (Saunter, 2010), as we consider the implications of using RSS feeds in each person is “fed” the information source of his or her own choice.  Operating systems are freed for open access, and owners of computer and smartphone are given greater manipulative power over the apps chosen for their devices.

The disadvantages which will reverse cloud computing include issues with loss of privacy, and lack of security.


  • collaboration among colleagues, and in classrooms
  • collectively manipulate texts using programs such as Google Docs
  • post and respond asynchronously using blog or wiki

  • limitations of physical space: on a computer, or in a flash drive
  • expensive programs such as the Microsoft Office suite.
  • Copyright and intellectual property laws and infringements
Rekindles from

the past

  • a sense of commonwealth
  • a sense of control over our media input as users choose the information sources of one’s choice (RSS feeds & applications)


  • loss of privacy
  • lack of security


Cloud Computing Tetrad Cloud Computing Tetrad

Hirsch, O. (2010). Technology education: Emerging and future technologies.  Retrieved from

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

Owen, W. (2010). Mady by Many: Cloud culture, the internet wars, and sublimation of self. Retrieved from

Saunter, T. (2010). Digital cortex: Applying mcLuhan. Retrieved from


Comments on: "Module Two: Emerging Technology Tetrad" (9)

  1. Hi Lori,

    I don’t think that “Copyright and intellectual property” will become obsolete due the openness of the Internet Creative Commons which was established. It provides some flexibility, but it still protects intellectual property. You are right; this aspect does help in generating openness which helps to generate additional technological and other advances.


  2. What is your exact concern with security? To me, this depends on the level you are using it (i.e. school, workplace, and so forth).

    • I think the concern with security deals with how name and information will be used, since one has to sign up for each and every program which is “on the cloud.”

      Then, one has to consider the potential for hacking, for any program where a credit card number has been entered.

      Another aspect of security involves one’s data files. Beyond the idea of privacy, is also the concept that when a startup company doesn’t work out, what happens to the files one has created on that “cloud.”

      The issues of security and privacy remain. There is some risk in every situation. For me, it has not kept me from soaring the cloud-scape, so to speak. But, it does make me careful about what information I enter for given sites, and watching for “secure” when entering credit card info.

  3. Lori,

    I think you are spot on about a lack of privacy in the future. We are already seeing this today. As much as I praise Google, I am becoming extremely concerned about how much information they know about individuals who use their services. The more information a company like Google knows about us, the more companies are willing to pay premium dollar for their services. This is one aspect of the cloud that does concern me.

    • Lori,

      Sorry, I think I did this last time too, but this is Jeff Moore who is bluejfm.

      • LOL…

        this happens to me, too. I have a literary identification linked with my wordpress account which posts as “lighthouse literacy.”

    • This is also the case with social networking sites, as well. Facebook is often doing one thing or the other, enough that users really have to be aware of what they enable in a given situation, and as FB changes their protocols.

      The more we use one service, enabling automatic feed, or sharing of information, some may need to be very mindful of the content posted to a single social media, should it have implications elsewhere.

  4. Hi Lori,

    Great post. I have to agree with your thoughts on the cloud making expensive office suites obsolete. My district is going to open source and google docs for word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet work. I also know that Microsoft’s latest incarnation of office works in the cloud. Cloud computing makes my life so much easier as a teacher and student.


  5. Please keep me posted about the move to open source! I have not made a leap. Our district is making a huge new two year lease of laptops for teachers, these will all use Microsoft Office 2010 programs.

    How much could we have saved with Open Source, and would we have had to sacrifice reliability or necessary features with Open source?

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