Cloud Computing for Education can bridge the knowledge divide, the resource divide and the digital divide
Teachers could be empowered Under the Cloud
Warning,it is disruptive technology…
Must have broadband to do this. It’s coming
Can be on your device,netbook, ebook. cellphone
The Limitations of Textbooks
“One of the critical teaching/learning resources used in schools is the textbook. They organize and present all of the information that the academic standards require a student to know in order to pass the high-stakes tests. They provide teachers with activities and assessments that enable the teachers to deliver the lessons to their students and assess their recollection of the information.
Textbooks have some well known limitations; the most often cited is that they go out of date. In today’s eco-friendly world, they “kill” a lot of trees. They are also very expensive. Most recently, there is a lot of excitement around the introduction of digital textbooks. They would seem to mitigate the big issues. They don’t use paper. They can be kept up to date. And they are less expensive. Unfortunately, digital textbooks do not eliminate the most significant and yet insidious problem associated with their use. Textbooks create generations of passive, dependent learners.
One of the great hopes for saving education over the past few decades has been the appropriate use of technology. Unfortunately, education failed to learn from General Motors experience when it implemented factory automation and robotics. GM CEO Roger Smith told and audience of his manufacturing peers, “After several years and several billion dollars, we have proved conclusively that we can make defective cars faster.” GM had simply used the technology to automate the way they always made cars instead of looking at their system and redesigning it to take full advantage of what the technology allows. Digital textbooks are education’s way of automating a bad practice.
Education has to learn from GM’s mistake – forget the old classroom paradigm that worked for an agrarian economy and was modified to work for a manufacturing economy. The global economic, high performance, information rich world our graduates will face requires a comprehensive redesign of the education system.
In the traditional educational setting, the school provides a textbook for each subject. The textbook tells the students what they will learn, provides the information for them to learn and then provides tests to determine if they have learned it. When a student graduates and is facing a problem or project in the real world, who will tell them what they will need to know to solve the problem? Who will tell them where to find it? “
Allan Jones, Emanginos
A few months ago a friend of mine on Facebook recommended that I attend Cloud Camp. Cloud Camp? I sort of did not know what he was talking about. But this friend has always shared wonderful resources with me. So I went off to the camp..
So this is what I went to CloudCamp is an unconference where early adapters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas. With the rapid change occurring in the industry, they needed a place to can meet to share experiences, challenges and solutions. At CloudCamp, you are encouraged you to share your thoughts in several open discussions, as we strive for the advancement of Cloud Computing. End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate. I go to lots of professional conferences. This was out of the box I was just learning from basic lack of information..
What is Cloud Camp?
CloudCamp follows an interactive, unscripted unconference format. You can propose your own session or you can attend a session proposed by someone else. Either way, you are encouraged to engage in the discussion and “Vote with your feet”, which means … “find another session if you don’t find the session helpful”. Pick and choose from the conversations; rant and rave, or sit back and watch.. What if educational conferences were like that I thought!!
At CloudCamp, they tend to discuss the following topics
* Infrastructure as a service (Amazon EC2, GoGrid, Rackspace, Nirvanix, etc) * Platform as a service (AppEngine, Azure, etc) * Software as a service (salesforce.com, Yahoo! Mail, etc.) * Application / Data / Storage (development in the cloud)
Each topic has a moderator (the person who proposed the topics) to keep things going.
The problem for me was at the time I was not sure I understood cloud computing. But my friend Mike Nelson, never leads me wrong. I thought this time he had. There was not a teacher in site, or anyone I knew and an unconference is different. I learned a lot. You may be able to go to a cloud conference . Most of what I heard was for business applications. It was a total learning experience, I forgot to eat and drink.
But I think there’s a wonderful opportunity for education in the cloud.
First you have to understand something about supercomputing.
Don’t worry you use it every day in some way. It is in the cloud.
The fastest type of computer. Supercomputers are very expensive and are employed for specialized applications that require immense amounts of mathematical calculations. For example, weather forecasting requires a supercomputer. Other uses of supercomputers include animated graphics, fluid dynamic calculations, nuclear energy research, and petroleum exploration.
The chief difference between a supercomputer and a mainframe is that a supercomputer channels all its power into executing a few programs as fast as possible, whereas a mainframe uses its power to execute many programs concurrently.
InforWorld “As a metaphor for the Internet, “the cloud” is a familiar cliché, but when combined with “computing,” the meaning gets bigger and fuzzier. Some analysts and vendors define cloud computing narrowly as an updated version of utility computing: basically virtual servers available over the Internet. Others go very broad, arguing anything you consume outside the firewall is “in the cloud,” including conventional outsourcing.
[ Learn how early adopters of cloud computing have used the technology and the lessons they have learned. | See how Amazon, Google, and other cloud platforms stack up in the InfoWorld Test Center’s comparison. ]
Cloud computing comes into focus only when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add 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.”
Cloud computing is at an early stage, with a motley crew of providers large and small delivering a slew of cloud-based services, from full-blown applications to storage services to spam filtering. Yes, utility-style infrastructure providers are part of the mix, but so are SaaS (software as a service) providers such as Salesforce.com. Today, for the most part, IT must plug into cloud-based services individually, but cloud computing aggregators and integrators are already emerging.
National Institute of Standards definition of Cloud Computing
NIST Working Definition of Cloud Computing
Peter Mell and Tim Grance — National Institute of Standards and Technology, Information Technology Laboratory
Note 1: Cloud computing is still an evolving paradigm. Its definitions, use cases, underlying technologies, issues, risks, and benefits will be refined in a spirited debate by the public and private sectors. These definitions, attributes, and characteristics will evolve and change over time.
Note 2: The cloud computing industry represents a large ecosystem of many models, vendors, and market niches. This definition attempts to encompass all of the various cloud approaches.
Definition of Cloud Computing:
Cloud computing is a pay-per-use model for enabling available, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is comprised of five key characteristics, three delivery models, and four deployment models.
Got that? Here’s a video for more understanding.
That means that we in education have the opportunity to build it.
We can gather resources of all kinds , we can deliver professional development, we can be change agents in delivering curriculum, and knowledge .
Howard Gardner on Digital Media in education
Here is the video from You Tube
Educational Video on use of Cloud Computing
We are not talking Charlie Brown on the lawn looking up at the clouds wondering what they look like.
When I talked about it online people chided me. It’ s a commercial thing they said!! Not for educators. I was thinking Why not for education??
Think Cloud Computing, think netbooks, think of replacing all of that paper. A text book is a wonderful reference but the problem is the long buy that school systems make and the cost. I will be kind about the workbooks and related documents, but the cost of textbooks could be reduced. Waay reduced… if the books were e-texts or e-books and could be used only for the time they are needed and we could customize education for every child. Every student and infuse
Participatory culture and advanced uses of technology.
Then think like Seymour Papert, or others who thought about the new uses that digital media would allow. The McArthur Foundation is funding powerful media. The Lucas Foundation shows us powerful digital use by kids in the Digital Generation. http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation
Think about educational gathered resources under the cloud. Think about the ways in which participatory culture could enhance learning.
But I go too fast.
Here is what educators will understand
Many, many technologies that were previously expensive or unavailable are now becoming free to anyone with a web browser. This is true for web sites, blogs, video sharing, music sharing, social sharing, collaboration software, editing/presentation and publishing, computing platforms in the “cloud”, etc. Our students are already using many of these technologies in their personal lives. In the professional world, the trend of discovering and using technologies in your personal life, and then bringing it into your professional life is called “consumerization”. Our education system should take advantage of this same trend, which will both enrich our student’s technology-enabled education, and importantly, reduce our budget impact.
The need for hardware and software isn’t being eliminated, but it is
shifting from being on-premises to being in the cloud. All that is
needed is a cheap access device and a web browser, broadband in the schools, perhaps wireless hotspots. While equitable access to
technology is clearly important, more and more students already have some kind of access device – a laptop, an Ipod. The district needs to fill the gaps, not replace existing access devices.
What is Cloud Computing? ???
“Comes from the early days of the Internet where we drew the network as a cloud… we didn’t care where the messages went… the cloud hid it from us” – Kevin Marks, Google
First cloud around networking (TCP/IP abstraction)
Second cloud around documents (WWW data abstraction)
The emerging cloud abstracts infrastructure complexities of servers, applications, data, and heterogeneous platforms
– (“muck” as Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos calls it)
Here is a simple working definition from NIST.
Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.
Three Cloud Service Models
Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS)
Use provider’s applications over a network
Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Deploy customer-created applications to a cloud
Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Rent processing, storage, network capacity, and other fundamental computing resources
Surely a way to close the digital divide is to
make information and textbooks cheaper and more accessible.
A textbook buy often takes years and the book is out of date in less than a year. Little kids have huge backpacks to lug around these books and the books, workbooks, and other “stuff” could be reduced to e-resources. Some so powerful that books while still relevant would just be a part of the way of thinking about learning. ( your thoughts?) Surely a way to halt the digital divide, the information divide, the resource divide and to foster e-learning, teacher professional
Tim O’Reilly, CEO O’Reilly Media Cloud Computing?
• “I think it is one of the foundations of the next
generation of computing”
• “The network of networks is the platform for all computing”
• “Everything we think of as a computer today is really just a device that connects
to the big computer that we are all collectively
1. US CIO Shifts to Cloud Computing and Apps: Take a few minutes and look at a
brand new government site: http://apps.gov
This was released this week by the US CIO, Vivek Kundra, as a way of pushing the
Federal Government to start innovating with Cloud Computing, Thin Applications
and Open Source Solutions. The page has a range of “cloud” based applications
that Federal employees can start to leverage for free or very low cost – for
productivity, collaboration or knowledge sharing. It is interesting to see the
CIO take an advocacy vs. command and control approach to building awareness and
use of these types of apps.
Check out the page http://apps.gov and pay
attention to the range of Web 2.0 Social Media and Collboration applications.
There has already been quite a bit of rapid experimentation from agencies
ranging from the Marine Corps to the U.S. Dept of Energy.
Remember that I told you that my friend told me on Facebook that the cloud was not for educators? This is why it was funny. She used Facebook to tell me. Its in the cloud!!
Examples of Cloud Computing
Facebook is a free-access social networking website mission that gives people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Facebook makes it easy to stay up-to-date with your favorite public figures and organizations.
Amazon is one of the early pioneers of cloud computing. After the dot-com bust, the vendor revamped the datacentres behind its e-commerce operation and decided to recoup the investment by selling its internal web-based services to third-party developers.
The launch of the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) under the Amazon Web Services banner in August 2006 was one of the first times the term ‘cloud’ had been attached to a commercially available, pay-as-you-go online service, although the term itself had been used generically to refer to the internet for at least a decade. The vendor is still considered to be a leader in cloud computing and its moves are watched closely by the rest of the market.
How long has Amazon operated in cloud computing? Amazon Web Services launched its first cloud service, the Simple Storage Service (S3), in March 2006.
Search giant Google is one of the early pioneers of cloud computing. Although the company was early to market with its Google Apps online personal productivity applications, which were launched in 2004, at the time it described the offerings as software-as-a-service (SaaS).
The company did not start using the term ‘cloud computing’ for another couple of years, but is nonetheless considered something of a poster child for the service delivery model. It is at the very least one of the concept’s biggest advocates as its advertising-based business model is predicated on it.
How long has Google operated in cloud computing? The company was set up in 1998, but introduced its first cloud service beyond its online search tool on 1 April, 2004.
HP has been a relatively low-key advocate of the cloud concept, but nonetheless the company is influential because of its presence in the datacentre and its strength at board level via its acquisition of EDS in August 2008. For the moment, the supplier is positioning itself more as a provider of enabling technology for the cloud than a cloud services provider, but it will undoubtedly follow the money as the market evolves.
How long has HP operated in the cloud space? Its first service delivered using a cloud computing-based infrastructure was launched in 2004.
IBM has been pitching the utility-computing, computing on-demand message for at least seven years as a means of selling more systems and services. Consequently, the company has been happy to latch onto the cloud concept as an extension of existing activities. The vendor — perhaps afraid of being left behind and having to play catch-up as it did when the world moved to client-server — is adopting the new service-delivery model wholeheartedly across its business. Given IBM’s general market strength, it is always one to watch, not least because of the credibility it provides when it enters new sectors.
How long has it operated in the cloud space? IBM entered the cloud market in 2004 when it introduced Deep Computing on Demand (CoD) for supercomputer users.
Salesforce.com has long been the prime exponent of SaaS, and has more recently taken a leaf out of Microsoft’s book by attempting to grow an application ecosystem through the launch of its platform-as-a-service products in a bid to broaden its appeal. It has retained the advantage afforded by being among the first to market and remains a leader rather than a follower in this largest segment of the cloud market.
How long has it operated in cloud computing? The company opened for business in 1999 as a dedicated SaaS provider.
Microsoft has consistently been late with all things relating to the internet and its move to the cloud is no exception. But Microsoft being Microsoft, such delays are unlikely to dent its influence over its all-important application development community or the broader value-added reseller channel, to which it invariably manages to sell its world view.
The vendor will be one to watch when it enters the market in the second half of 2009 — even though it faces attacks from all sides, and from Google, Amazon and Salesforce.com in particular.
How long has it operated in cloud computing? Microsoft plans to launch its Azure Services Platform in the second half of 2009.
Here is the government definition of cloud computing
Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.
On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service’s provider.
Broad network access. Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, laptops, and PDAs).
Resource pooling. The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, network bandwidth, and virtual machines.
Rapid elasticity. Capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned, in some cases automatically, to quickly scale out and rapidly released to quickly scale in. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be purchased in any quantity at any time.
Measured Service. Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.
But wait there is more. Go to the NIST Site. National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Jeff Bezos’ quote: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13953_3-9977100-80.html?tag=mncol
Kevin Marks quote: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13953_3-9938949-80.html?tag=mncol video interview