Thursday, February 16, 2012

Computing in the cloud

The article “Computing in the cloud” talks about how the use of cloud-based programs is becoming more and more popular. The author mentions the advantages of those web-based programs in a school context: usually they are free. The user doesn’t have to worry about having the latest version of the program or a very powerful computer. They can be used in several locations. There is no need of a flashcard or any other storage device, and the documents can be shared.

He then talks about the economics of using the cloud. He makes an analysis where he explains how parents and/or schools can afford each child to owns a small computer. With clouding tools they don’t need a powerful computer.

Then the author mentions some tools like, Google docs, Flickr or Picasa. He says that those free resources are similar to the programs that you can buy but have some deficiencies where the user must adapt.

Then he asks and answers the frequent questions that a new user can ask: What happens if there is no internet connection?  Is there a chance that at a certain point we will have to pay for those resources? Are the files secures? Are they private?

At the end he gives a forecast: things that need to be done before school districts start using the cloud tools: Policy about students-owned devices, secure wireless infrastructure, teacher training on how to use those tools.

He feels comfortable using those resources and has a positive attitude towards them. He believes in the private policies and he feels fine about the morality behind the Google/Microsoft duopoly.

I agree with the author that the cloud is already part of our reality. The tools are there for us to use them. So let’s use them!!! But again… We have to be aware. Let’s check if we are accessing all those tools from a secure network!!

Johnson D. (December/January 2009-2010). Computing in the Clouds. ISTE, 4 (37). Retrieved from


  1. Hello Heidy,

    I think your enthusiasm for cloud computing in the classroom is great! Cloud computing really does seem like a great opportunity for classroom learning, as most tools offered on the cloud are free and processing power of a students computer can be greatly enhanced using cloud computing.

    I have had some experiences using cloud computing as a college student. On a group project during my time as a undergrad, we used Google Docs to write a group paper one night with each group member at home using their computer. This really made the necessary group collaboration easy and was mush better than meeting late-night in the university library craning our necks over one of our group members laptop, shouting out ideas.

    In another experience, I took a class where we needed a very powerful computer to make sense of some DNA sequences from various organisms. We were able to log on to UCSD's supercomputer to do the task that could not be done on a laptop or personal computer.

    Cloud computing really can be a powerful tool. I can't wait to use it in the classroom. Thanks for sharing your ideas.


    Ryan Fitch

    p.s. Nice cloud images on your blog ;)

  2. Heidy and Ryan,

    Wow I like both of your insights on using the Cloud. I agree there are so many possibilities for the classroom, as well as networking with parents. I would agree with Heidy that schools should be very thorough in their search for secure programs. The safety of our students come first. I wish I knew more about the Cloud to feel more comfortable using it!