I suppose the same question can be asked of ‘How long is a piece of string?’ .Many of us think we know what ‘the Cloud’ is, many of us use web based technology in our everyday lives, from banking to socialising. But, what does the Cloud really offer education.
It was working with our partners in the South West Grid for Learning when I came across their ‘Cloud Education ICT Design’ project. CEID for short. They have kindly allowed me to share a brief outline of it with you, as I think it will be of help to many of you teachers out there.
What is the Cloud?
CEID describes this simply as ICT delivered to the user over the Internet, rather than from systems based in the same place as the user. Imagine how many services yourselves, colleagues and students use that are web based. This is the cloud.
Why is it called ‘cloud’?
I thought because it was ‘out there somewhere’ in the sky , but it’s a actually based on the image used to represent complex technical systems in diagrams. I prefer my definition.
So what are the benefits of Cloud ICT?
CEID describe a few of the potential benefits as :- improved flexibility, better value for money, complete consistency, reliability and high accessibility.
Sounds too good to be true doesn't it, but there are risks. Such as the culture shock, level of service, privacy and security. So to understand all these and many other factors and issues, the SWGfL team have developed the CEID project.
The project aims to do the following three things:-
- Build a large and accurate picture of the status of cloud ICT in education.
- Inform and influence the cloud ICT market.
- Design and procure cloud ICT services for education.
So if Cloud ICT is on your list of things to do, then why not make a start by undertaking the following:-
- Complete the SWGFL survey on Cloud ICT in Education. It honestly does only take a few minutes. http://www.ceid.co.uk/
- Sign up for the free newsletter at http://www.ceid.co.uk/
- If you have a particular question then get in touch with the CEID team via email – firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ceiduk
I hope to report the results of that survey once it has been completed later in the year.
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