Obviously this speaks to what kind of learner I am, but it was not until I found the above video that I could really wrap my head around what Cloud Computing meant. While the article found on Wikipedia provided a similar analogy using utilities, just reading about it really didn’t “click” for me. Thank goodness for YouTube. ^_^
But I digress and would like to say Cloud Computing seems like it would be very worthwhile for use in education. The most obvious reason being lower costs for educators and access to free technologies, as mentioned in Bittman’s blog article on the subject. Considering the emphasis on ensuring schools are up-to-date with new and innovative technologies, and the enormous price tags that are attached to such tech, it seems to me that Cloud Computing is a really viable solution to ensure this goal without cutting funds to other programs.
Considering I am a drama major, and an all around supporter of the arts, I can’t help but get behind anything that would help keep funds aimed toward these kinds of subjects. That is not to say I do not see the need and benefits of integrating technology in school, but I feel like there is a bit too much of a push in this direction at the expense of other subjects. Implementing a system that utilizes Cloud Computing seems like a no brainer if it means the money spent on expensive software and its up-keep can be allotted to other areas of need.
Even though it would reduce the need for IT people, which would be a negative for that particular industry, the point of technology integration in school is meant to improve student learning. As such, school-boards should be focused on whatever is going to be the most cost efficient and effective method of providing said resources; not having to wait days on end for an IT guy seems to be much more effective for getting problems worked out quickly, in my opinion.
I also think some of the other concerns associated with Cloud Computing are fairly minor, especially since the author of the article linked, is able to offer counter-arguments so easily. Furthermore, considering the example he uses is one that comes from a business standpoint, I do not think schools would have to worry quite so much about information “falling into the wrong hands”. Even if someone were able to break through a password created, me thinks they would be rather disappointed to have broken into a bunch of education related documents. Granted, I suppose a mean-spirited person might want to mess with things they have found, but like Strickland points out, the companies offering such services, “live and die by their reputations”. Therefore, if a big corporation were to trust their information with “company x”, I am sure a school could too.