15 Ways to Support Student Work in the Cloud


5 Ways Students are Supported via Cloud Computing 

Below are five ways in which student learning is supported by cloud computing.

  1. Student Access – Students today should have anytime anywhere access to school work.  With cloud access, students can work at their own pace. Teachers often report teacher that students will send in assignments and responds to discussion prompts at all hours of the day and night at times most convenient to them.
  2. Student Collaboration – Easy collaboration among students is supported. Students can collaborate with others on documents and creative projects. They don’t have to wait for face-to-face time and school network connections.
  3. Teacher/Student Communication – Ease of communication is enhanced via cloud applications and school sponsored learning management systems. Example students are often more vocal in online spaces
  4. Parent access – Parent support of their children is made easier when at home or out of school access to student grades and work is made easier.
  5. Mobile Devices – From Smartphones to Tablets to Ultrabooks devices supporting cloud access are becoming commonplace.  Many devices are being released without media drives and usb drives. Cloud access is and will continue to be a ‘go to’ place of the near future.

5 Top Apps for Classroom Work in the Cloud 

The applications below offer quick and easy access anytime and anywhere via the cloud.

  1. Evernotehttp://www.evernote.com/evernote/ – Capture and annote ideas, images and more. Tag and search easily for fast retrieval. Online access across devices.
  2. Google Appshttp://www.google.com/apps/edu/students/index.html – Real-time collaboration and sharing. Full productivity applications such as Word Processing, Presentations, Forms, and Spreadsheets
  3. Dropboxhttps://www.dropbox.com – Store and share files easily. Retrieve from any device, any location.
  4. Microsoft Office Web Apps – Online access to Microsoft Office applications. Shareable and accessible.  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/web-apps/
  5. Pixlrhttp://pixlr.com/ Online image editor. Upload and edit images. Easy share across devices and platforms.

5 Research Studies on Cloud Computing in Education

The following research studies look closely  at the benefits and needs for cloud computing in education.

  1. The Horizon Report 2012 http://www.nmc.org/publications/horizon-report-2012-higher-ed-edition
  2. Pew Internet and American Life Project http://pewinternet.org/topics/Cloud-Computing.aspx
  3. CloudBook – Full list of College and University Based Cloud Computing Studies http://www.cloudbook.net/directories/research-clouds/cloud-computing-research.php
  4. Speak Up Survey 2011 – Tomorrow.org – Reports http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speakup_reports.html
  5. National Science Foundation Report on Support for Cloud Computing  http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12040/nsf12040.pdf

Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” Theodore Levitt

This post is cross-posted on the ACER Education Blog by Nancy Caramanico

Emerging Technologies to Watch 2012


The newly released 2012 Horizon Report gives us a glimpse into the classrooms of the near future. How can our schools benefit from this report? All school leaders who focus sharply on emerging technology trends can effectively plan for what students need and how schools can prepare.

Any school or organizational leader will realize by looking at the Horizon Report’s technologies list how quickly these changes are impacting our world and indeed our own lives on a daily basis. Action is needed to ready our schools and organizations for the changes ahead.

The Horizon Report has been published since 2002 and is the result of collaborative effort fostered by NMC (New Media Consortium). Released in January, it highlights emerging technology which impact teaching, research, learning and creative inquiry. A timeline is created which details when these technologies are set to have the most impact in those areas. A K-12 version is set to be released in the spring. In researching the report international educational leaders across many sectors come together. The structure of the report is a compelling one which gives us clear insight into means for implementation.  It is a must read for educators.

Image via http://www.nmc.org/news/download-communique-horizon-project-retreat
Metatrends - Horizon Report, Image from www.nmc.org






Main Areas of the Horizon Report

  1. Technology Trends and Timeline
  2. Key Trends
  3. Challenges

Key Trends Identified in the Horizon Report

  • Role of Educators is undergoing change in light of an abundance of resources and relationships
  • Blended learning via online programs, hybrid learning and collaborative models are taking hold
  • Working and Learning are anytime, anywhere activities
  • Cloud computing is becoming more common and IT decentralized
  • Classroom learning is becoming more active and challenge based
  • Student work is becoming more collaborative as work and learning organizations are moving to collaborative and collective models of work

Emerging Technologies List

  • Mobile Apps – One Year or Less
  • Tablet Computing – One Year or Less
  • Game Based Learning – Two to Three Years
  • Learning Analytics – Two to Three Years
  • Gesture Based Computing – Four to Five Years
  • Internet of Things – Four to Five Years

Critical Challenges

  • New Metrics for evaluation are needed in a web centric classroom
  • Digital Media literacy is an important skill in all professions
  • Traditional models of education are giving way to new modes due to economic pressures and student need
  • Resistance to change and new technology by educational institutions
  • New publishing modes such as social networks are challenging traditional research and scholarly resources putting pressure on libraries and schools to support new modes of curating scholarship

Tips for Applying the Horizon Report

  1. Distribute to Stakeholders; Parents, Teachers, Board Members and Students (html ,pdf)
  2. Involve curriculum leaders to forge connections to academic aims
  3. Form an Innovations Team
  4. Discuss Trends and Challenges. Share the Communique developed for use with the Horizon Report
  5. Explore Technologies to Watch. View Supporting data, articles and examples
  6. Seek Supporting technologies for academic and organizational goals
  7. Connect with success – Plan to visit or connect with schools applying these technologies
  8. Plan to pilot new technologies. Plan for ongoing evaluation.
  9. Review technology plans and budgets.  As technology evolves so must our plan.
  10. Keep an eye on the horizon. Continue to evaluate new developments. Follow developments and news on the Horizon Report 2012 via Facebook, Twitter #NMchz, Wiki

 Since we live in an age of innovation, a practical education must prepare one for work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined.
Peter F. Drucker 

What I find most validates the importance of this study is their past reporting. Take a look back at reports from past years and you will see how on target these reports have been. School and organizational leaders are advised to take a close look at the results of this report and to take action on behalf of the population or the students they serve. Fostering a relevant, engaging learning environment in tune with today’s world is the job of visionary leaders. Keeping eyes tuned to the horizon’ will be an essential part of a transformation in tune with what is to come.

 Related Links

Emerging Technologies to Watch – 2011 on TechConnects

Horizon Retreat Wiki



Horizon Project Main Page


Horizon Project Navigator

COSN – Consortium for School Networking  

This post is cross-posted at School CIO


Web Tools for Learning

I enjoyed working with teachers this week in West Chester discussing learning in the 21st Century, NETS Standards and sharing the Tpack Model and some online tools to enhance lessons in their classrooms. These teachers are in classrooms where students have access to one to one netbooks daily in their classrooms to support learning. What a creative and energetic group! They had additional suggestions of great tools to explore. Above you’ll find the ones we looked at. Which ones would you add?