How Do You Catch a Cloud

“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed…It feels an impulsion…this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.” – Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

What is cloud computing and how will it impact k-12education? In this post I explore several blog posts which provide clues to the impact cloud computing may have on our education system. Here’s a snippet of what Thomas Bittman a member of the Gartner Blog Network has to say in his November 26 post entitled, Cloud Computing and K-12 Education, “I’ve read a number of “current” technology plans (including the one for my state) that could have been written in 1990. They simply don’t get the significance of the web and cloud computing on technology purchases, technology use, and how and what we teach.”virtualization

The Techie blog O’Reilly Radar attempts to clarify the clouded issue of cloud computer definition by identifying three distinct types: utility, platform and end user application. This post points to the complexities of cloud computing. Matt Williams writes for Government Technology blog. Cloud computing is being touted as a significant trend. “Tight budgets could force governments to ramp up green IT, and server and storage virtualization, said David Fletcher, CTO of Utah. He also predicts that more attention will given to the IT needs of mobile workers and citizens, including more utilization of software as a service for improved execution, and the deployment of an expanded suite of business productivity applications “Web 2.0 will continue to evolve and more governments will interact with citizens on a personal level via the Internet,” he said. It seems to me that cloud computing and virtualization can be viewed as a money saving measure that improves communications.

An October 24 announcement in Information Week by Mary Hayes Weier says, “The cloud offering is actually an expansion of what to date they’ve called the Virtual Computing Lab (VCL), a 2-year-old, on-demand computing platform powered by donated IBM BladeCenter servers and software, and developed in partnership with North Carolina State. VCL has primarily served the university’s students and faculty, but the partners are now opening it up to students at grade schools and colleges across the state.” Note the very last line. It is opening up to grade schools. This internet climate change will improve they way we communicate and collaborate and should be a primary consideration in technology planning. How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?

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