Category Archives: Education

Cloud Infographic: What Is Big Data, Anyway?

Cloud Infographic: What Is Big Data, Anyway?

Cloud Infographic: What Is Big Data, Anyway?

In information technology, big data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools. The challenges include capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, analysis, and visualization. The trend to larger data sets is due to the additional information derivable from analysis of a single large set of related data, as compared to separate smaller sets with the same total amount of data, allowing correlations to be found to “spot business trends, determine quality of research, prevent diseases, link legal citations, combat crime, and determine real-time roadway traffic conditions… Continue Reading

 cloud big data

Infographic Source: ClearCi

 

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.

Changing The Script: Understanding How Mental Schemas Delay Cloud Technology Adoption

Changing The Script: Understanding How Mental Schemas Delay Cloud Technology Adoption

Fans of the TV show Seinfeld know exactly what to expect. The effects of repeated episodes finds the viewer primed to expect laughter at Jerry’s cleverness, Kramer’s odd interpretations, George’s neuroticism, and Elaine’s adventures. The series is organized around a Peter Pan theme of a never-grow-up philosophy of life. The producers even made the finale a comedic success about the four friends being sentenced to prison. But what if they didn’t? What if the last show was presented as a tearjerker having the characters remorseful about their careless actions over the years? Of course this sudden deviation would not have computed well within the human brain as this turnabout would have went against the theme of the entire series.

The Software Schema

When a retail customer or an executive considers adopting the cloud they are breaking a mental script, known as a schema, that is nearly as difficult to imagine as crying over the Seinfeld crew’s jail sentence.

A schema is a psychological theory first proposed by the writer Jean Pigaet and later applied by Bartlett as a cognitive frame that serves as a foundation from which interpretations of events are automatically activated based on prior experience http://psychology.about.com/od/sindex/g/def_schema.htm

Cloud computing is a whole new way of thinking about how we use and store data making this strategy an affront to our mental schema of how we manage programs and data. To incorporate a new schema requires integrating new information, a difficult mental leap that requires positive experiences with new technology from the very beginning.

How Apple and Microsoft Got it Right

In a prior column I shared my adventure of buying a MacBook Air and how I had to overcome the bias of salesman to pursue a cloud solution. What happened within an hour of my purchase is a good example of how a schema works and how it can be overcome by new experiences.

After setting up my new Air I desperately needed to get Microsoft Word for Mac. At the retail outlet a panic gripped me as I realized I was buying media to insert into a slot I didn’t have on the Air. The tech told me, “I think you can download it online“. One the way home I had a sinking feeling I had made a terrible mistake and started vowing to never allow myself to be in this situation again.

This example speaks to how sensitive the customer can be at retail, how nervous the CIO can be at the corporate level, and how concerned the IT professional can feel about job security. New challenges to old schemas follow a difficult and winding path on the way to changing a person’s mind-set. When I got home the cloud was there for me and I was writing within 10 minutes. Make sure its there for the next user and another new schema will emerge, and another, and another…

By Don Cleveland

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

Pavlov And Cloud Computing: How We Will Overcome Our Anxiety

Pavlov and Cloud Computing: How We Will Overcome our Anxiety

It’s interesting to consider why we struggle to accept the cloud-computing model of data management. It seems safer to have our critical data and applications within walking distance from our desk where we can check its pulse anytime we want. Like Pavlov’s dogs we are conditioned to a react to whatever is a perceived as the non-threatening option. In this case one where we believe we must own the applications. After all we own our home, our vehicles, and our money. And yet even that is not the truth in its entirety.

For most of us the mortgage holder can be considered at least a part owner who requires us to have insurance and make payments. Vehicles are also financed and when we can’t make the payments we, “own” these lenders take the asset. If all of us decided to visit our money at the bank on the same day we would be disappointed yet we rest assured that the government has guaranteed it, and the banks are taking care of it. The point is that all of us do a lot more outsourcing than we are trained to believe. In fact every time we participate in online banking we are engaging in a form of cloud computing both literally in a technological sense, and figuratively in that we can never check on our money in the other room. This sounds like a, “cloud” philosophy.

What Pavlov Would Say

Based on the influential learning theories of Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov, its safe to assume he would tell us we have learned to trust an expensive form of ownership through classical conditioning. Pavlov conditioned dogs to salivate when they heard a bell much like we are conditioned to react guardedly when the cloud is suggested as a less expensive alternative than back room tech ownership. It is then that our, “owner reflex” kicks into gear and we feel insecure. Often this reaction is a reflection of a biased view toward ownership that produces the opposite paradigm than the ROI approach so necessary to a company’s success.

The Cost of Ownership

That house we own is an expensive proposition. Taxes, mortgage payments, maintenance, and other expenses arise that can make one doubt the value of this investment. Yet over the long haul home ownership has been a sound investment for most people. The history is far shorter in the tech industry. How many of us are working from a concrete financial analysis to assess cloud computing by the numbers? Often our initial reactions are conditioned responses to cloud computing until something happens to wake us from our slumber

When Pavlov’s assistant accidentally slammed a door during the bell ringing what came to be known as a, novel stimulus interrupted the dogs and they responded less. In the same way many of us will open up to the cloud when the novel stimulus of convenient, quick, and effective services are experienced.

By Don Cleveland

Cloud Computing Is Redefining Micro-Learning In Five Revolutionary Ways

Cloud Computing Is Redefining Micro-Learning In Five Revolutionary Ways

Cloud Computing Is Redefining Micro-Learning

One of the great aspects of cloud computing is that it is quantifiable. It takes a challenge and accounts for it in hard figures. If it is software, one rents it and pays for the time he or she spends on it. If it is education, particularly, students come to know the time they spend in a remote learning environment will come back to them in the form of a certificate or degree. There are different ways in which the ubiquity and easy accessibility of otherwise expensive resources and data has affected micro-learning. Here are five such ways, beginning with the most quantifiable revolution.

Expanding the scope of class

One intriguing remark from a professor appeared online, recently, to the effect that he now reaches a hundred thousand learners in a single session, via the Internet, whereas it would take him two and a half lifetimes (each lifetime a 100 years) to teach such a multitude in his typical four hundred-strong physical lecture hall. This shows that with just a few resources that micro-learning places one’s way, it would be easy to extend boundaries and meet new challenges. It only requires a computer with a video teleconferencing icon, a few saving programs and back up, to appear on some remote student’s desktop in a later podcast, if not live.

Virtualization

When it comes to integrating everything that education can have with Internet resources, one gets the end result: virtualization. Every arm of learning, be it science, humanities or IT gets cognizant with the web. This is why learners who, for one reason or another, cannot make it to a lecture can follow the notes of the day on their virtual platforms. It is this trend that is making the world a global village where one need not have a lot of money to attend Harvard or Cambridge. Rather, it is the interactive nature brought about by web connectivity that is required to bridge the gap between campus-based and e-learning models.

Failures, drop outs and the unqualified can now get fresh grades

Before the advent of economical resources like hardware and programs for learning, if one dropped out of college or high school, the decision marked the culmination of his/her school pursuits. The drop out would go on to wallow in the mire of frustration in a world that demands plain certificates to get white collar jobs. Now, micro-learning, with its minimalist hardware and software requirements has changed all that. One can get that elusive degree or a certificate courtesy of remote cloud education. In fact such academic certification could easily be stronger than that of a typical book worm, because all kinds of libraries are free online and in the right formats.

The digital revolution of referencing

One of the major breakthroughs of cloud in the education sector is that it has made history an everyday occurrence. If one wants to know what Ptolemy or Alexander the Great actually did in their days, they need not rummage libraries from one end of town to the other. Chances are that they would get nowhere near to the truth. However, the Internet is a free-for-all cloud that brings even rare manuscripts for research and referencing. Of course there are logging details that may cost a fee, but that may change as many digital files go to the public domain for everybody to view uncharged.

Micro-learning- the core of collaboration

The great aspect of micro-learning in cloud education is that it uses odds and ends of technology that meet somewhere with other technologies and synchronize. This unity leads to the sharing of resources and creating mutual initiatives where the users can learn from each other. They no longer have to rely solely on teachers to elaborate a point. They evolve concrete meanings of concepts from their virtual collaboration. Specific examples include research projects between students across the oceans, sharing on educational material on the social networks and doing a sketch, simultaneously, through tablet technology.

Those are some of the leaps that cloud computing through micro-learning has introduced into the sector. The above is just a drop in the ocean of what is to come in the better years of this tender century. There are education apps to explore as there is a new crop of graduates who will have never seen a classroom in their entire academic careers, to exploit.

By John Omwamba

 

 

 

Cheap Laptops Or Integrated Cloud Systems For Education?

Cheap Laptops Or Integrated Cloud Systems For Education?

Cheap Laptops or Integrated Cloud Systems for Education?

One of the most heated debates in many emerging economies and third-world countries is tying education to device ownership. The original mentality of NGO programs that use e-learning to support remote communities online is to provide over-the-counter laptops. These would normally have a face value of under a hundred dollars per machine. The schemes would even do away with Value Added Tax in the country of use.

Now there is the integrated system that brings together a myriad of such devices in a classroom and makes them more than a mere local network. Each machine is answerable to the system, as a whole, but its main drive is to engage rather than teach. Originally, having a computer was necessary for getting instant answers or receiving lectures through asynchronous means. Cloud computing systems are now acting as a means for learners.

This poses the question: will there be a need for students to have cheap laptops of their own, or they need to join the cloud fully through integrated systems?The argument seems to cast the dice in favor of the integral systems. A single device may be easy enough to avail, especially through government support. But at the end of the day, it is only in use for referencing. The systems on the other hand are bringing a new context, which some advanced gadgets like the tablets use. These are challenging programs. Learners will be approaching a teaching session from an argumentative angle and thus hone their skills of answering questions through logic rather than memorizing.

An added advantage of the integrated cloud systems of education is that they will balance the micro-learning platform. This means that each laptop will contribute an application, here and there, to the whole, and thus allow the learners to exert their minds through inquisitiveness. They may want to explore why a certain technology or app works on a certain machine and not on another. In other words, they will be on the road to understanding the free-for-all cloud and probably end up creating their own open source programs to enhance compatibility.

Though a portable computer has certain advantages like low power demands and cheap prices, it fails when it comes to accessing things offline. An integrated model of cloud computing, which various tech brands are already coming up with, is reducing the enslavement to the Internet that gadgets have always brought about. There are format programs that are complete in themselves. They can operate at any time, requiring only an external connection to a device with a screen. These can also provide podcasts of an experiment that is taking place by showing audiovisual details as students learn.

There is no doubt that laptops may be getting ready to become part of typical school programs, through subsidization. But they do not hold a candle to the aptness of integrated cloud systems. The cloud is leading the way to a more enterprising method of education where students settle more challenges, individually, than what they get from their tutors.

By John Omwamba

Cloud Whitepaper: Bring Your Own Mobile Devices To School

Cloud Whitepaper: Bring Your Own Mobile Devices To School

HP BYOD in Education Students and faculty are free to use personal mobile devices to access school resources while IT maintains control.

Who should read this paper?

School administrators, IT directors, security managers, and network managers should read this white paper to learn how HP Networking solutions simplify security and network access control to help schools make the most of bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives.

In today’s educational environments, more and more students, guests, and faculty are bringing in their own Wi-Fi devices into the school’s network. This presents a unique challenge to the IT administrator. This paper discusses the challenges and solutions IT administrators are facing and how HP is addressing the security and management of the multiple devices being introduced into the wireless/wired network.

Executive summary

CloudTweaks Comic #100 - David FletcherMany higher educational institutions and K-12 schools are enticed by the idea of allowing students and faculty to use their own tablet computers, notebooks, and smartphones to access school resources. However, they are concerned about the security risks—and the impact on IT operations.

HP Education for today’s learners 

Networking is helping educational institutions realize the potential of BYOD initiatives by enabling schools to allow students and faculty to use their own mobile devices in a way that is secure and operationally efficient. HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC) provides a simple way to enforce network access control that is ideal for BYOD initiatives.

Technology is an essential element to keeping today’s students engaged. Demand for the expanded use of technology in education to raise academic achievement comes from virtually all constituents, from the federal government, to state education departments, to local school boards, teachers, parents, and students themselves. Tablets, notebooks, and other mobile devices takes learning out from computer labs and libraries and puts it directly into student’s hands. Especially for students who have grown up with Internet, gaming consoles, and texting. Digital curricula allow teachers to create new levels of interactivity that are ideal for individual and team learning, developing science and math skills, and language immersion. Mobile devices open up a universe of possibilities for science labs, distance learning, and student presentations. Teachers have new ways to assess students’ individual progress and provide additional instruction to students before they fall significantly behind. Continue Reading

Also see:  Strategy Guide: Cloud In Government and Educational Institutions

 

CloudTweaks Comics
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Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

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What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

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