Friday, February 17, 2012

Head in the Cloud

Hi Group,

Reading Doug Johnson’s 2009 article for ISTE, “Computing in the Clouds,” made me want to ditch my eight-pound laptop for a lightweight, two to four pound netbook! To think of all the time and money that teachers can save. And, when you consider the possibilities for students, and the positive impact on the school district, the pros definitely outweigh the cons, for me.

I appreciate Johnson’s balanced discussion regarding concerns about file security and privacy issues. Johnson also mentions that, “school districts need to be sure they have a reliable, adequate, and secure wireless infrastructure to support dozens, if not hundreds, of student-owned netbooks?” Cloud computing is possible, but not necessarily right for all users, teachers, students, and districts.

It’s obvious Johnson is a cloud fan. But, what I love about the article, instead of just writing about the cloud, in the section, “Living in the Cloud,” Johnson moved all of his computing tasks to the cloud and summarized how all of the solutions worked for him. He gives concrete examples of using cloud-based word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets. He gives dozens of Web 2.0 tool examples so that anyone could make the transition to cloud computing.

His tone is that he’s a “geezer,” so that veteran teachers will relate to their fear of moving from what they might feel is safe to the unknown. He also relates to any computer user because we’ve all suffered through “worrying about transporting files on flash drives, keeping track of the latest version of a document, or having the right software to open a file.” And, most of us need to “share and collaboratively edit files.”

There is so much practical information in his article. Johnson does a great job balancing the pros and cons. And, I would love to move to the cloud as a teacher. This article helps me know tools as well as issues to consider before I make the leap.

This article meets NETS for students 6. Technology Operations and Concepts. Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. a. Understand and use technology systems; b. Select and use applications effectively and productively; c. Troubleshoot systems and applications; d. Transfer current knowledge to learning; of new technologies.

Thank you,


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


  1. Hi Dawn!

    I have never really understood what operating in the "Cloud" was until I began this course and have had a chance to discuss it and read articles. After reading your blog post I learned some of the pros/cons and I think that it is very interesting to say the least.

    I really like the idea of not having to own an expensive laptop or computer but instead just owning a cheap netbook. I think if schools were able to adopt this sort of idea it would save them a whole lot of money in the long run!

    I also liked how the author did address the negatives of "Computing in the Cloud". He talked about how files may not be secure in some school districts. This would be a major concern of mine seeing as today's hackers are capable of doing a lot of damage on the web today.

    I enjoyed reading your blog! See you on class Wednesday.

    Vince Riedel

  2. Dear Dawn-

    Thank you for your blog post regarding "the cloud" and the many possibilities it creates. My brother in law started a game company in Seattle and right now they are moving towards doing everything from the cloud. That means that you download the game of your choice on the device of your choice, and your progress and scores, etc are stored on the cloud so when you decide to play again at a different location with a different device, it's all there.

    I imagine the same will be true in a school setting. I can almost imagine a world where all the field trip will be virtual and all the school work is done via the cloud. Who needs a brick and mortar school building? There will just be a specialty facility for athletics and the arts.

    But seriously, I think as a teacher it will be very important to learn how to incorporate the cloud into the curriculum and the learning process. Think of all the money it will save, and the flexibility it will provide.

    I hope you spend until Tuesday thinking about this.