reflections in response to Emerging Technology course EDUC 7108

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Module Two: Emerging Technology Tetrad

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


Module One: Current Trends in Educational Technology

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

Pang, L. (2009). Applying cloud computing to the classroom. Retrieved from

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.


You Tube explanation of Cloud computing: