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 delicious.com, 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!!
Reference:Johnson D. (December/January 2009-2010). Computing in the Clouds. ISTE, 4 (37). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/issues/Computing_in_the_Clouds.aspx