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.
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