Category Archives: Certification

The State Of Online Schools: More Heads Than Ever Are In The Cloud

The State of Online Schools: More Heads Than Ever Are in the Cloud

Online education is certainly nothing new to today’s students, though advancements in the field are making available programming more complex—and in many ways more compelling—than ever before. Internet-based university learning began decades ago as a way for older students to continue their education without disrupting their schedules. Schools like the University of Phoenix and Capella University gained fast popularity as ways for busy professionals to finish—or sometimes even start—college degree programs from home, and were mostly designed as online versions of the age old correspondence course. Things have changed substantially since then. Students at all levels and places in life are looking online for education, and academics are responding in record numbers. Many scholars predict that the future of education and learning is likely in the cloud. While the landscape is still shifting and there remain some pitfalls to the online classroom, there is little doubt that the demand and drive are there.

Even just five years ago, the online educational palette was limited. For-profit schools were exploding, which raised questions of accreditation and legitimacy for many. More and more brick-and-mortar schools were offering online “extension” courses, but most of these were put together by professors in their downtime, often without much assistance when it came to technological expertise or web building. Their formats were typically rigid, and most were designed more as an imitation of live courses than an independent instructional model.

In the early days of online courses, a widespread production model was to provide faculty members with release time and/or stipends in return for developing and delivering their own courses,” an Educause review of online learning said. “Often re-creating the lecture, the resulting courses frequently had an idiosyncratic structure and might—or might not—use good instructional design.”

One of the biggest changes has been the development of separate online “tracks,” in which course material is optimized specifically for the online platform with things like chat capabilities, web streaming, and real-time interaction built in. The cost differential has also seen profound change. Online schooling has almost always been less expensive than attending in person, which has long been a big part of its allure. Today, however, many of the top universities are actually offering world-class online learning experiences for free.

Harvard and MIT were among the first to offer free access to online courses through their integrative edX program. edX began as a means of bringing computer science and engineering education to the masses, but has expanded to include a range of courses in the math, science, and even some humanities sectors. Coursera, a similar program built out of Stanford University’s computer science department, promises the same—and in fall 2012 went live with free courses from at least a dozen schools around the country. Most are offered on an information-only basis, but a growing number are also offering certification or, in some cases, credit.

While perhaps not yet a revolutionary paradigm-shift, this is an important step in market diversification and outreach by our leading educational institutions,” Sean Decatur, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College, wrote in The New York Times’ “Room for Debate” column. More students than ever before are able to access top-notch education through these free lectures and materials. Most academics applaud this sort of leveling, and many are looking for ways of bringing more students from around the world into the discussion.

The field is still very much developing, though, particularly where credit and certification are concerned. How to authenticate users and prevent cheating is one concern; how professors should handle massive amounts of grading is another. Some critics also wonder how increased online enrollments will affect traditional tuition-paying students—the bread and butter universities depend on to be able to fund these expansive online opportunities.

For better or worse, more students than ever before are looking online for at least some of their schooling. While there are undoubtedly still things that need to be improved, there is also a lot of good that has been done; with the right nurturing, this good could last well into the future.

By Brianna Meiers

Education blogger Brianna Meiers writes today about the sea changes happening in colleges and universities thanks to the Internet. Her insights complement prior posts about the changes the Internet has brought to our society, be it through taxation, telecommuting, or overall quality of life. Readers interested in learning more about the online educational opportunities mentioned here should check out some of Brianna’s other work, including a list of online schools broken down by subject.

Interactive Education Via Cloud: Welcome To The Brave New World

Interactive Education Via Cloud: Welcome To The Brave New World

Interactive Education Via Cloud: Welcome To The Brave New World

Nowadays it’s possible to trace the route a learner takes to and fro campus in a jiffy. It is not physical stalking that matters, here, but the technology. One will only need to profile a piece of travel communiqué on a social

networking site by the given student to a friend, to know his/her whereabouts. This is because for everything one does, the intranet or profile that they subscribe to observes them too. Though this data about a profile does not get overboard, the email company, the datacenter or the network where the information passes gleans part of it. Networks are playing the role of Big Brother, everyday, assessing clients’ behaviors and knowing how many times they have visited their private cloud.

In other words, the brave new world of cloud computing is bringing education into the social sphere. Though in most countries, especially in Europe, it would be criminal to gather specific data about someone, it is no crime, however, to map profile details. For example, a college can use its cloud intranet to trace the time Tom, Dick and Harry usually log in to the school’s e-library and the time they spend there. They might also monitor their sleeping times, which might affect their education in a way, courtesy of the messages they remit over their networking accounts to their friends.

In the light of the above examples, here are two elements that will continue to define the educational scene via the cloud.

Ubiquity in networking

The emergence of social media has had a strong influence on the way learners interact. At first this was just a social platform for exchanging personal information. However, it has turned into an educational setting where learners can exchange notes from each other. They can also display their resumes there for the employers to see them. They can also stay updated, all the time, about developments in the learning institution from independent sources rather than the authorities. Knowing, for example, from a third-party source that the top management is changing hands at a college soon can help a student prepare for the transition even before the official announcement.

Identification details will enhance personal accessibility of learning materials

A student with a user ID will get greater access to an institution’s pool of online resources than another who does not have one. If there is a question about a schedule that learners may have forgotten about, they can find it on the register, online. One can even resolve personal choices that reflect the psychological pressures of staying in an educational setting. For example, if one feels conscientious about the way he or she uses their pocket money, they only need to use their ID to enter into a tips section of their school’s Internet and find out what suggestions experts are offering on running a student’s budget successfully. Thus, having recognition in the cloud is helping in getting handy information.

Though all the elements above show a preference for knowing the profile information of the learners, in the long run it does not amount into compromising identity. It helps institutions to create analytical trends about their individual students for a more harmonized educational model. Chiefly, it aids students to access texts and enhance their decision making power, while at the same time boost their social life because they have a cloud identity.

By John Omwamba

5 Cloud Course Teaching Platforms

5 Cloud Course Teaching Platforms

Though Cloud Computing has been in the offing for some years now, its inner core is still enshrouded in a cloak of mystery as people only see the surface. One of the more important sides of the service include the platform, which is useful for teaching the fundamentals of the technology that ties together all networks in a developing cloud. Though the platform is important for developing concepts and doing practical work, it is, however, still the best stepping stone for learning about the subject. This is because app-based platforms are always evolving.

There have been many brands that have come up to replenish the role of Platform as a Service (PaaS) which is the application arm of the cloud. They approach the technology from various angles, which suit particular business models, while others are mere development platforms for stats.

Here are five of the leading platforms that use cloud courses as their teaching models.

Appistry

For slightly more than a decade, this platform has targeted courses that rely mainly on PaaS. It helps to expand the usability of current software. While students use it to learn more on how to think outside the box when employing an already functional application, it also helps them to make their own contributions.

Companies keen to reduce their operational costs can use this teaching model to improve their technicians’ knowledge. By doing this, they will no longer have to rely on rented app stages on the public cloud. The technicians can come up with industry-specific apps that can help a tech entity meet its challenges, head on, without relying on generic software.

Windows Azure

This Microsoft-based cloud course teaching platform is the quintessential example of knowing both the fundamentals of network interactions and all about hosting. It also pays especial attention to the architectural bit of cloud computing. This is through its presence as a dynamic option for hosting information remotely while tapping into dynamic technology without any need to install the same in one’s personal computer.

Because of its long-term existence, the Azure has entrenched itself as a perfect example of what it means to scale the network and experiment with it. If one needs to leverage on the performance of his/her organization, they just need to rent more space, tap into more apps and employ them on a pay-as-you-use basis. It is no wonder then that it should be a beginner’s workbook while at the same time great for Information Technology experts who want to learn more.

AppScale

This is a search engine-based platform that mainly helps in the deployment section of the cloud, meaning when choosing a private, web-based or hybrid area of operation. Though compatible to many networks, it is mainly perfected for the particular search engine’s horde of related software.

As a teaching course, the platform switches gears and concentrates more on app profiling rather than mere deployment. It helps learners to know how they can change particular software essentials so that through this profiling, the programs can work in another cloud setting other than the one they were originally intended for.

AT&T

Among the platforms that serve as the cloud course teaching areas, this particular one exemplifies how one can be independent and still be on a free-for-all World Wide Web. One does not even have to be in the Private Cloud to manage their affairs. This provider helps to supervise the access and core infrastructural layers, provides the machines, and remotely hosts them.

However, because it allows those using the service to come up with their own stats and tools, it can be a perfect way to learn how to improve on software. It’s also serving as a good example of how IT students can get savvy with managing their own databases, though from a remote locale. They would also learn how there are no contractual details in this arrangement, where users come and go as they like as long as they provide the usual live-renting costs.

Amazon EC2

For those who want a cloud course on a very functional and flexible platform, then this is the one to seek. It helps to understand how one can contract and expand space as need be. It also enables one to comprehend how to maintain an operational scope for a business depending on the current economical climate: when the going gets tough, a user contracts the rental space and vice versa.

It is also a way out for IT enthusiasts who want to test new applications, upload something huge, and manage other affairs, expeditiously, before closing them again in a matter of fractions of minutes. This is the way to go for those who need to be in a web setting where they can make hosting decisions quickly.

There goes the curtain to some of the platforms that have proved to be worthy learning courses in the Cloud. All, in their different ways, embrace particular learning environments like infrastructure, deployment or the platform aspect itself.

By John Omwamba

The New Cloud Academia: What If Future Graduates Never Saw A Classroom?

The New Cloud Academia: What If Future Graduates Never Saw A Classroom?

As technology gets more personal and remote connectivity becomes more of a necessity, one-on-one coercions between people are slowly ebbing. The future may look bleak for inter-personal meetings like that between teachers and students in a typical classroom. But it holds a synergy that is highly appropriate for the contemporary hi-tech generation. One of the leading arguments that pro-micro-learning advocates cite is that the fight for mandatory education should go to what learners love most: the mobile, the computer and the social networks. This will bring even more fruitful means of using these cutting-edge technologies, and by the way, recue school budgets at the same time.

Cloud computing has helped initiate learning programs that are heading to a brave new world where classrooms may be a thing to be remembered. Currently, Information Technology schools by one of the leading global computer giants have provided e-learning resources to a tune a million learners in five continents.

The trend of virtual education will not stick to Information Technology and related professions. It is already getting attention from mid-level colleges that have about thirty thousand or so students. The institutions are finding it hard to admit more global students into their programs because the campus space is shrinking. This is why they are aiming to capture the attention of would-be graduates through online means. All tech resources will be charged back to the provider, with the quintessential formula of Software as a Service in cloud computing.

It might seem like a new crop of aliens to have students who have never seen the interior of a physical classroom. The United States’ school program is so flexible that parents are now taking their sons and daughters on long voyages and other land trips while hiring resourceful tutors on the way. Through integrated means, like cloud computing on gadgets, some of these students even do their math homework and score excellently while still abroad. If the student passes and opts to go to university, chances are that he or she will prefer to continue the virtual way.

Future cloud computing and education platforms will have only two tiers. The access point will be the university website which will use its dynamic hosting network to store and stream the materials. The core point will be the lecturers who will be maintaining standards between campus-based and online learning materials. The fact that tuition will be miscellaneous is a welcoming plus to students who can relay podcasts of their lecturers time and again. They can even go to parallel programs on the Internet with no lecturer of theirs getting the wiser of their educational pranks.

The good news is that the cloud will bring a system where students from all over the world can identify with one particular degree model. It will be no longer that university A from country B employs such and such standards. The unified standards will make referencing easier where they are not defined by a particular learning institution.

The question is once again posed: will there be a time when physical classrooms will be an option and not a necessity? The answer is yes, there are plenty of possibilities. There are even new programs that can only be practical online. A good example is the new certification for cloud computing. This is an instance of the revolution towards an all-inclusive e-learning model, from kindergarten to university.

By John Omwamba

Cloud Computing Certifications You Can Take

Cloud Computing Certifications You Can Take

Cloud Computing Certifications

A cloud computing certification is a powerful tool to advance your career in IT. Since many organizations and professionals are shifting towards cloud computing, it is expected that they will need assistance as they adopt the new system. A cloud computing professional certificate proves that you have the necessary skills to assist a cloud computing user. This certification is also a proof that you are dedicated to continually improving your skills as an IT professional. This will increase your motivation, commitment, and responsibility towards your career, while making you eligible for new career opportunities in cloud computing. Some of the certification you can take are as follows.

The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) evaluates your competency in basic cloud security issues. It usually consists of 50 questions which must be answered within an hour, and the passing grade is 80 percent. The multiple-choice examination can be taken online and it costs US$295. Although the CCSK certificate has no expiry date, you may need to take updated exams because of changes in the body of knowledge in cloud computing.

The CloudU Certification, on the other hand, is for business leaders and IT professionals who want to enrich their knowledge on the basics of cloud computing. Advantages of acquiring a CloudU Certificate include an understanding of: cloud computing integration issues into an organization’s current regulations, risk, and compliance framework; an ability to build an economic importance inside the organization by implementing cloud innovations; understanding cloud computing integration into an organization’s IT infrastructure; a technical knowledge of cloud computing foundations; and a tool to demonstrate professional development. The certificate can be earned by successfully completing each of the ten CloudU quizzes and a final examination consisting of 50 questions. The passing grade is 80 percent.

An IBM Cloud Computing Certification allows you to become a Certified Solution Advisor for Cloud Computing Architecture V2, a professional who understands cloud computing concepts, benefits, design and architecture principles. This certification demonstrates that you are able to describe how cloud computing can help a user as well as map user requirements to IBM’s various cloud computing products and services.

Taking another IBM Cloud Computing Certification, you can become an IBM Certified Solution Architect for Cloud Computing Infrastructure V1, an expert in IBM’s cloud computing plan, management, design, and architecture principles. This certificate will demonstrate your proficiency in IBM’s cloud computing design principles and concepts and your ability to provide a user with a roadmap towards a cloud solution. You will also be able to design a complete solution using IBM’s design as well as blue principles in order to meet a user’s requirements. Finally, this certification demonstrates your skills in applying IBM’s Cloud Management Principles.

By Florence de Borja

Gussy Up Your Employment With Cloud Computing

Gussy Up Your Employment with Cloud Computing

With reports of 50,000 new jobs being launched in cloud computing/IT in Los Angeles alone, it’s official: the employment iron is hot. Strike into the fray with a sophisticated grasp of how cloud computing can improve your approach and your potential company.

Chasing versus cultivating. The sphere of cloud computing’s involvement with the hunt for a great job is populated with two contingents: those who seek to “chase” literal cloud computing positions, and those who opt to “cultivate” a reputation for their own cloud expertise. The former group, the “chasers,” are currently enjoying a bumper crop of positions as consultants and providers of cloud. However, the well of such posts may run dry as the demand for them begins to slow. To best incorporate the cloud into your work life, emulating the “cultivators” — nurturing your reputation as a cloud professional, even at your current workplace — is vital. Doing so positions you at the vanguard of the cloud in your own occupational backyard, a sage move toward solidifying your value and enhancing your cachet.

Earn cloud skills that pay the bills. You will require more than a well-stocked DropBox and regular reading of CloudTweaks (which remains highly recommended, nevertheless) to claim cloud computing proficiency at your workplace. Consider your genius in relevant, related skill sets that can support your protestations of cloud excellence. How smoothly can you cajole your co-workers (heck, even your own family) into taking up the cloud along with you? Can you rattle off the five most essential new cloud applications on demand? Can you demonstrate to your boss how participation in cloud can boost the business, offset risk and encourage reward? And can you serve as a cloud architect, proposing a structure that safely yet profitably involves your company in cloud? Until you can answer such questions with ease, hold back on tooting your cloud computing horn too loudly.

Before you head up to cloud, get grounded. Many employers will grow annoyed with staff or applicants that tout reams of information on cloud computing without a mastery of the business itself. Ground your excellence in cloud know-how with equally specific respect for the industry or enterprise at hand. Going for a position in healthcare, for example? Research the business vein of that hospital or facility, then base what you can offer via the cloud on that information. Tailoring your genius to a particular gig is doubly impresses: it educates and inspires confidence all at once.

By Jeff Norman

Cloud Computing Certification And Future Job Opportunities

Cloud Computing Certification And Future Job Opportunities

Cloud Computing Certification

Market Prediction: Cloud Technology to offer 14 Million jobs by 2015

Cloud computing certification has a lot in store in terms of future job creation. It is anticipated that cloud computing technology will lead to a generation of an estimated 14 million novel job opportunities across the world in the span of the coming three years. Surprising enough, the scope of the fresh jobs may extend beyond the IT sector. The estimates are an outcome of research carried out by IDC funded by the Microsoft Corporation. Fourteen million expected jobs sure is a promising number in itself, but when stacked against the current volume of the available global workforce (a little greater than 3 billion to be exact) it equals a shy half a percent – a mere droplet compared against the  pail.

It is worth to note that only 1.18 million of the anticipated lot of 14 million jobs will be hosted in the North America region. The lion’s share of the opportunities will be available in the budding markets. A hefty 10 million of the jobs will arise in the Asia Pacific region, India and China. The primary reason for this remains the mammoth size of the region’s human resource pool – about 1.3 promising personnel in India and China alone, as per findings of the report.

Nevertheless, it’s a great beginning since job conception at any scale is equally valuable. The efficacy of cloud technology as a positive force is further augmented by the projections of this particular study. Furthermore, the study serves an eye-opener for those who consider cloud computing as a job terminator. The technology, in fact, is bound to boost the number of available jobs, and that too across the globe, all the way through ventures of varying functionalities and sizes. After all, the beauty of the cloud lies in the actuality that rising markets and small organizations all have access to similar benefits offered by the technology just like any large scale enterprise or developed economy.  

So what genre of jobs are we talking about here? It figures out that the majority of the created jobs will be related to the field of IT, including cloud architectural designers, integration experts etc. Allied domains, such as smart phone application development sector, continue to make use of cloud technology for delivering better products and entrepreneurial spin offs. App Economy has confirmed that the smart app development sector alone has resulted in the creation of 466,000 jobs in the United States. Application developers and software engineers are rapidly designing apps that make use of cloud technology. An inevitable consequence of the above is an increased demand for cloud professionals around the globe. IDC advocates that apart from strictly technical roles, cloud technology and cloud computing certification will lead to expansion and resulting increased demand of human resource in finance, sales, marketing, service, production and administrative departments of various ventures.

Folks at IDC further extrapolate that ingenuity and innovation in cloud technology might lead to monetary results as large as $1.1 trillion per annum in the coming 36 months. The firm validates that during the last year, IT cloud service providers made it possible for corporations of all sizes around the globe to secure more than $400 billion in sales, in addition to the 1.5 million brand new jobs.

By Humayun Shahid

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