Week 08: Files in the Cloud RSS Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mcquaid 8:12 am on October 31, 2011
    0 votes

    The goal for this week was to critically examine and evaluate the cloud computing market. We felt that whether you were contemplating adopting cloud storage or a cloud application for a business or school district, as an EVA, the topics presented this week would help you make an informed decision. With your help, we highlighted […]

    Continue reading Week 8 Wrap-up: Meteorology in Computing Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • Deb Kim 3:10 pm on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you, Stephen, James, and Ashley. I had a great week learning about cloud computing.
      I didn’t know exactly what cloud computing was before, so I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it until the topic was brought up last week. I realized that I’d been using cloud-based apps since a few years ago.
      Thank you for the conclusion.


  • kstooshnov 3:43 pm on October 29, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Animoto, , Gmail, Picassa, ,   

    This summer, during my sixth MET course (ETEC 510), I had a month-long contract with the Vancouver School Board to teach an elementary-level computing course, which I named the Web Wandering Workshop.  It was a great opportunity to take some of the ideas I was learning on-line, and practice them in the classroom.  Due to […]

    Continue reading Web Wandering Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • mcquaid 5:19 pm on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi, Kyle.
      Interesting summer workshop – did you have any daily stragglers, or were all students interested and quick to finish? When I have my kids in the computer lab, I always have a healthy mix of steady workers, easily-self-or-externally-distracted students, lazy students, and totally disinterested / off-track students. One of my curses is also the forgotten password of programs I have them try out.

      I like programs like Glogster which allow me (with the paid version, anyway) to manage all student accounts / names, etc. It can take a little while, but I like creating accounts with the same names and passwords that students use to get on to our network.

  • khenry 5:42 pm on October 28, 2011
    0 votes

    The main benefits of converting to cloud computing are: reduced costs; anytime, anywhere access, and increased administrative ease and efficiency. All these form the dream of all institutions. Reduced Costs Less money spent on: infrastructure needs (purchase of hardware and software), housing/storage on site, energy bills (as hardware etc need not be housed and run […]

    Continue reading Go Green, Go Lean and enable the dream – Switching to Cloud Computing Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 8:08 am on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with you that cloud computing has green benefits. Through technology we can give back to the Earth that it has given to us. Going green also helps us to save money. Take for example videoconferencing. This decrease travel time and fuel costs to commute to school daily which creates a positive impact on the environment since travel expenses and carbon footprints are reduced and instead school operations are improved and are more productive for both students and faculty members.

    • schiong 2:59 pm on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      just curious …
      1. If the company has 5 IT employees to maintain their server, create custom applications ,etc … what would happen to them if the company decided to go with Commensus or similar company? Is there a need to keep all of them employed ?

      2. Is cloud computing really environment friendly? I have no answer to this.

      A small company would probably turn off most their machines after office hours and during weekends.

      Let us say that there are 20 workstations + 1 server + 1 backup server. That’s about 22 machines running during office hours. Let us assume that the 2 servers are the only machines running 24 x 7.

      If I am providing cloud computing service for this company, how many computers would be running?

      The company would get rid of their 2 servers (maybe or maybe not)… This means only 20 machines are running during office hours.

      Since I am ensuring 24 x 7 uptime + data would be saved in different locations, this means I need to have at least 2 to 3 servers.

      What about my system administrators for each location? I need to provide 1 power computer each.

      What about my other technical staff? I believe I need to provide them computers as well.

      What about my customer support? How many customer representative should I hire and how many of them should have a computer ?

      The claim of cloud computing is to have “limitless” space. Hmmm … we all know that every hard disk would have a limit and each computer would also have a limit to the number of hard disks attached to it. I believe it is very possible that the number of computers used in cloud computing would also increase as more clients subscribe.

      Again, I am just curious. In what condition or conditions would cloud computing be ideal?

      • khenry 11:34 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I agree that demands on hardware will increase for hosting services. However, the benefits of cloud computing suggest it would be ideal in institutions who: do not: navigate large numbers of networks and need not invest so much in purchasing and maintaining systems and infrastructure; do not deal with very sensitive data and; who do not have a lot of money to spend on


  • ccheung 3:09 pm on October 28, 2011
    0 votes


    Google just introduced the Chromebook, a netbook that is tailored for classroom use.  The idea is that with all basic programs and files in the clouds, Chromebook can be turned on or “woken up” from sleep mode in seconds. Open Chromebook when you need it, and close it whenever you want to move on. This […]

    Continue reading Google just introduced the Chromebook, a… Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • mcquaid 5:37 pm on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I’m interested to see how well this does. I think things like it are definitely the future, but I wonder how it will do now that tablets & mobiles are gaining in popularity so quickly. Either way, the idea is the same – to have a lean, fast-starting device that relies mainly on online storage as well as apps or programs online.

  • Deb Kim 11:23 am on October 28, 2011
    0 votes

    What are the benefits to converting a business or school district to cloud computing? Here are some benefits to converting school district to cloud computing. 1. All about $$$ I always carry my external hard drive, because I don’t want to save all my work (including notes, lessons, templates, ideas, projects, marks, and other confidential items) in […]

    Continue reading Week 8- Discussion #2: Changing to Clouds Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • bcourey 3:55 am on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good points made Deb! Has anyone wondered what would happen if all of that data suddenly became unavailable because of some kind of server disruption wherever the data is stored? Or perhaps the companies that “own” the servers suddenly become “owners” of the data? I don’t mean to be paranoid, but are we too trusting that the cloud is the safest place to put all of our institutional information? It is one thing to lose our pictures and our blog posts, but yet another to lose educational/health/financial data. Does anyone remember the wee scare we had when Yahoo gave Delicious up? Didn’t some of us panic and move over to Diigo for a spell?

      • khenry 6:50 am on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Deb and Courey,
        Echoing Courey, Deb raised some good points indeed. I have also experienced benefits of not having to walk with my computer, harddrive et al., as have students but woe be unto us when the connection isn’t working. It really disrupts the schedule and even though we can find alternatives, at times we are left deep in the mud.
        Like Courey I have wondered what would happen if one day the net just crashed and all that information was lost. Along with such considerations for storage and safety, data ownership is paramount. Think of even the new changes to facebook http://mashable.com/2009/02/16/facebook-tos-privacy/. Very important considerations!


        • Deb Kim 8:47 am on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Good point, Brenda and Kerry-Ann.
          While reading some of the coursemates’ posts, I also wondered if I was “too trusting that the cloud is the safest place”. I discover myself to be relying on cloud-based apps more than offline programs. I’d be frustrated if server disruption happens all of a sudden and the connection isn’t working. That’s probably why I started carrying my harddrive with me again (but once in a while) and save my work in it.


          • ashleyross 1:15 am on October 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

            Hi Deb,

            I recently posted a reply to Tamara after she made similar comments on security in the cloud. I won’t repeat everything that I wrote there but my thoughts are that Google has a lot more money to spend on data security and backup infrastructure than I do so I feel pretty confident that they will never lose my information as long as they suddenly don’t go out of business. 🙂 They do provide you with the ability to download your email and documents though, so I suppose I could start doing that if I ever got nervous. 🙂

            I also use cloud storage through Dropbox ( http://www.dropbox.com/) though, which I guess is exactly the same as having an extra hard drive. I alternate between my PC and my laptop and so each of those has a synced copy of my Dropbox in addition to the one that is stored on on their servers. So at any time I have the information stored in three places. That way if I lose a computer or they disappear, I still have other copies. I like the convenience of always having access to my data, but having it backed up in multiple locations is also great. What I really like though is that I can actually access my Dropbox through my mobile phone and download files if I need them.


  • Doug Smith 3:20 pm on October 27, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: cloud, iTunes, McLuhan, ,   

    Paying homage to the McLuhan Centenary, I think the emergence cloud computing will be significant to education in that the actual learning materials will be shifting to something new. I’ve previously mentioned the iTunes-ization of media when discussing eBooks, and I think this can be further generalized. People are obviously excited over iCloud ie iTunes […]

    Continue reading The Cloud Changing the Message Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • mcquaid 3:44 pm on October 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      A great connection to McLuhan, Doug. The message / point of using cloud-based things can just be the fact that you’re using cloud-based things. It’s a mind shift in many cases more than anything else.

    • khenry 6:59 am on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug,
      Do you think it’s the cloud changing the message or rather that technology itself is evolving to what is a more ‘natural response’. McLuhan says the medium is the message and technology in education has previously been driven by what educators think are the ‘best’ media but now ‘students’ are driving the media, the needs of society are also driving the media in order to get out their message hence now the message is driving the media/technology? Our ability to harness/ facilitate the ‘natural response’ is what I believe is key to future successful ventures. Thoughts?


    • andrea 1:59 pm on October 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug,

      I completely agree that the possibilities with cloud technologies could transform how we consume and create text and other content.

      This is a bit of a tangent, but your post also reminded me of the proposed changes to Canadian copyright law, which on the one hand makes it legal for people share media files within their own system across different tools, and on the other restricts them from doing this if there is any digital lock in place. However, there are other interesting aspects of this: an article in the Globe & Mail mentions how Canada’s proposed new copyright law “requires students to destroy copyright-protected, online components of courses after receiving their final grade.”

      It seems that while technology forges ahead making new things possible, government thinking about digital learning materials.


  • David William Price 2:40 pm on October 27, 2011
    0 votes

    I’m a little uncomfortable with the assignment for this week. It seems extremely IT-focused on data centres– IT vendors and integrators wanting to sell pre-fab solutions to institutions which happen to include educational institutions. The HP solution made me laugh — a private cloud? It was a rack of servers you buy and install in […]

    Continue reading Issue with the assignment Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • mcquaid 3:22 pm on October 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the well-laid-out thoughts (as always), David.
      I don’t think you are really off the mark. We found that there were many cloud-related things to cover (more than I initially thought there would be). The three of us wanted to cover several bases well instead of giving a too-general look at the topic. Without meaning to sound defensive (I’m OK with open criticism), we decided that the main topics we went with would do the best job we could in giving an informative package for an EVA looking to know more / invest in cloud computing, specifically in the educational field.

      On a personal note, I see many educational ventures like the top of a cloud pyramid, occupying less space than the levels below – without a lot of support behind the scenes, scads of infrastructure and other hurdles – the programs students, teachers, or admins want to use wouldn’t even be available. I know, for example, that people in my district and own school are pining for things like iPads and other devices, but without significant changes from the ground up, we’ll never see these useful things in our students’ hands.

    • Jim 6:36 pm on October 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,
      Your response is exactly the kind of thing one would expect of an EVA. IT issues intersect with educational ventures and anyone in any decision making position in the education sector must grapple with such issues. In a number of large school districts that I am aware of, there is a sort of give and take between the IT departments and the academic departments. Each have their priorities and each dept uses their own lens to examine issues such as scalability, privacy, usability, and so on. We are pleased that you have identified this as a tension, and that you are a little uncomfortable, but as an EVA or EMA there is plenty of techie hyperbole that must be cut through before decisions can be made.

    • schiong 3:30 pm on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,

      I share your point of view. I wear my IT hat when the topic is IT related. Change my hat when the topic is different.

      I came across this LMS few days ago (http://www.instructure.com/).
      The look and feel reminds me of WebCT. I believe it is free.

      Most schools do not have IT people who could develop their own LMS.
      And, what is the point in creating your own when there are several LMS (free and paid versions) out there.

      Let me share this link: http://www.ncomputing.com/
      These are nice devices that would go well with Green Computing, Education, and Cloud computing.

      Even with Cloud computing, the school still needs to provide computers to their educators.
      Some schools might not have the budget.
      I just thought of sharing the link above regarding NComputing.
      It could replace the regular PC’s we have in schools at affordable price.

      If I am not mistaken, it only requires 5 volts.

      Yes, I have used them before. I did a consulting work for an NGO about 3 or 4 years ago.


    • themusicwoman 11:53 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Dear David,

      Thanks for bringing up a totally different view and perspective. Perhaps I’ve not been doing what I keep telling my students: think for yourself, lol. Perhaps a little blindsided by the slick rather than what is educational?
      You make me think about how technology as a whole is percieved and implemented within the education system. I think the reality is the bottom dollar. As much as school districts would like to offer the newest tools, hardware and software, we all know that much of the equipment in schools is old and decrepit. The education system is struggling to keep up with technology.
      Thanks for making me think.

  • David Vogt 2:05 pm on October 27, 2011
    0 votes

    Most of my recent innovation work has been in the area of mobile cultural media and professional networking, so I’ve had my head in the clouds for a while. I’m particularly enthusiastic about cloud learning, not so much for many of the reasons already put forward, but mostly for the inevitably changed and enhanced relationship […]

    Continue reading Children of the Cloud Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • David William Price 2:21 pm on October 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David

      Thanks for posting this. I’m thinking there is way too much IT focus in the cloud discussions thus far. I’d have to take issue with the concept that our brains have been self-contained thus far. Have you had the chance to read Don Normans, “The Design of Everyday Things”? It addresses the concept of memory that is internal and external, with external memory incorporating not only memos and job aids but even good design — a well-designed thing incorporates enough knowledge to allow you to operate it automatically to accomplish a task. I think this is further developed in literature about cognitive tools which include things as simple as spreadsheets and concept-mapping.

      I think I’ve mentioned before my concern with hyper-personalization – that we get trapped in our niches and stop stumbling into different points of view that challenge our existing paradigms. I would be very interested in a cloud paradigm that integrates a heuristic for enhancing my critical thinking rather than something that cocoons me and my limited experience set.

      But maybe I completely misunderstood your point?

      • David Vogt 2:43 pm on October 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        And thanks for these thoughts. Yes, Norman’s sense of design is deeply resonant with self-referential nature of the brain. What I mean by ‘contained’ is that the dynamic tools of identity re-generation are entirely local rather than distributed. And so much of who we are was already ‘hyper-personalized’ before anything digital came along; the whole point of self-reference is to simultaneously challenge and reinforce, based on new information, different aspects of the models we build about ourselves. Enhancing your critical thinking – I bet you could build an app for that!

        • David William Price 3:05 pm on October 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Sounds interesting if I could grasp it better. I like the concept of the challenging but I guess I need more hand holding to understand how this works.

          At an Australian university teaching nurses, they built a web-based app that pushed nurses through a critical-thinking algorithm as they were writing literature reviews (it’s called WRAP). Basically a series of prompts to push students through a model of thinking. They want to abstract this into a heuristic. Sounds very cool.

    • Jim 7:15 pm on October 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree that as people become more and more digitally mobile, cloud computing will become the primary method for accomplishing tasks. The new mobile culture and explosion of devices reminds me a little of the thin client idea… Most of the data storage and computing horsepower is going to reside server side… but the devices we slip into our pockets or bags are far more powerful than those thin clients ever were. I have also thought that the agent or genie or PDA idea would have been here by now. I remember reading about personal digital agents over ten years ago and then, there was nothing… Siri is rather like that but ‘she’ doesn’t act independently, anticipating your wants or needs based on past interactions (does it? I haven’t used it, only seen it in use).

    • jarvise 7:09 am on October 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Your thoughts on the changed relationships between people with themselves and with the web make sense in terms of distributed cognition. I read an article a few years back about brain plasticity and spacial sense and reasoning. Basically, the argument being made was that increased reliance on GPS navigation units actually changed our brains at a structural level (hippocampus, maybe?). Because we don’t need to know how to get somewhere, it becomes a waste of space. If we are rewiring in response to technology, then anywhere/anytime access becomes imperative. Cloud-based delivery of services becomes essential. Its interesting to think of the environment as extending into the digital realm. The ideas that purport to reveal and clarify our thinking (and even enhance collaboration) such as mind mapping don’t seem to be growing in any big collaborative way. The places seeing enhanced collaboration of minds right now (from what I can see) are places like blogs, youtube, and consumer comments on products. Its hard to envision where we will be in a couple of years.


      • kstooshnov 1:54 pm on October 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Emily,

        I agree with your point about the rewiring of the human brain but wonder about the “wasted space,” do you mean such mental functions as locating places, remembering phone numbers or sustaining our attention span (to sit through a Wagnerian opera, for instance) are being lost, or just relegated to the figurative “back of our mind,” the 90% of the brain we supposedly don’t use? When gathering information for the eBook EMA, I heard a lecture on how reading has changed with the latest technology, similar to how Gutenberg’s press changed reading several centuries ago. Since then, reading and writing have taken on new shape, and it seems more important for students to learn how to navigate through a webpage and post comments than it does for how to use the Dewey-decimal system or cursive handwriting.

        While it seems spooky to suggest that we should allow parts of our brain and their related skills to waste away, technology such as cloud computing, or even the PDA-in-place-of-memory, may be part of the human species’ evolution – we are the ones designing this stuff after all. One only hopes that we learned enough lessons from the 20th century, such as the damages to the planet from our dependency on oil, or to our bodies from microwave ovens and processed foods, that we don’t mess things up with our minds too much. But even if we do, someone will probably create some psychoanalyst app to fix it :-l


    • khenry 7:10 am on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,
      As a follow up to my comments to Doug and in response to your post, I believe that technology itself is evolving to what is a more ‘natural response’. Students and processes are driving the media used/media design in education, the needs of society are also driving the media in order to get out their message hence now the message is driving the media/technology use/design. We are finding out more about ourselves and trying to tap into or harness even greater power. Our ability to harness/ facilitate the ‘natural response’ as well as to develop/extrapolate potential are going to be central to future successful ventures.


  • Jay 1:52 pm on October 27, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , data transfer, international law, legislation   

    There are some interesting issues being raised with regards to cloud computing, privacy, legal issues and international boundaries. These all must be taken into consideration before a business chooses to shift an IT outsourcing option. In his post Cloud Computing and International Law related issues, Di Martino (2011) raises some issues to be considered before […]

    Continue reading International Law – Clouds may bring stormy weather Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • hall 5:00 pm on October 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jay

      Thank you for the resources. The considerations that businesses need to be aware of are very important. I found data retention for tax purposes to be an interesting topic. Most countries survive on the taxes on goods and services. How can a country tax services provided by an organization which uses cloud computing? For example, if an educational institution in a particular country provides services to students across the globe but the data is stored in another country via cloud computing. Which country would tax this educational institution? Would both countries tax the institution?

    • Angela Novoa 10:53 am on October 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jay, thanks for sharing the resources. This is a very interesting issue. As Conroy suggested most countries survive on taxes on goods and services, so taking in consideration these issues is relevant. The need of regulation about the matter is the clue. And there is not only need of regulation on cloud computing but also on many issues related to the use of technology. And in the case of Education is very important to be clear about this.


    • verenanz 7:33 pm on October 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      HI Jay!
      Thanks for continuing my train of thought…..You have a lot of good points about taxes and legislation which we will have to consider.

      Thank you for the insight!


    • khenry 7:16 am on October 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jay,
      Thanks for the resources and the discussion. Cross border policies are indeed important considerations. We even see them coming up in the use of content management systems and the location of providers for the very reasons you highlighted. I believe we will be seeing greater focus and developments in this area as I believe that Cloud computing is inevitable and really is a natural and necessary progression to facilitate needs and technology within the present and future environment.


  • David William Price 1:43 pm on October 27, 2011
    0 votes

    CLOUD BIO  I’m a grad student, teaching assistant and editorial assistant in Montreal. I’ve used Gmail for many years and Google Docs to do group projects. Google Docs only works well if everyone is assertive enough to jump in and share ideas and change things. I implemented Google spreadsheet surveys for an academic journal to […]

    Continue reading Cloud bio & Pitfalls Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • hall 5:56 pm on October 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,

      I have written some great points. Cloud computing has definitely transform our lives. I no longer need to worry about losing my information I store when using Yahoo Mail, Gmail and Google Docs. Once I have internet service I do need not the service of a thumb drives or any other storing devices. Cloud computing has made our life better. It now is becoming a necessity rather than a cosmetic tool. I remember when mobile phones were cosmetic but it is a necessity; now I cannot go anywhere without my phone especially in world where criminal activities are on the rise. I think cloud computing will near future become everybody business.

    • Deb Kim 2:45 pm on October 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      You said ” I write all of my blog posts in MS Word and then I paste them into the blog entry panel. I’ve lost data too many times during an entry process so I guess I just don’t trust it.”
      That’s very interesting because I used to experience the similar thing as you, but now I write all my blog posts directly in the Dashboard (for example) these days as they get autosaved.
      However, I still have to agree with you because my work often gets lost while I’m working on the blog. It already happened twice today. So I have this “habit” now that before I publish my posts or comments, I copy all the work. This way, although I lose my work due to the computer crash, I can always go back and paste my work.


compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help

Spam prevention powered by Akismet