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Cloud Computing Finds Acceptance at a Growing Number of Schools, Large and Small

September 27, 2012 No Comments

By Patrick Burke,  Rackspace Hosting

For many schools undertaking ambitious moves to cloud services, one of their goals is somewhat surprising: The hope that no one notices.

“When it’s done right, you shouldn’t even notice it’s a cloud service,” said Max Davis-Johnson, associate vice president of IT at Boise State University, which is midway through an intensive enterprise transformation that includes building an internal private cloud, according to an article on CampusTechnology.com.

The university’s Roadmap Project is a three-year program that includes — in addition to an internal private cloud with virtual servers and storage — expanding the university’s data warehouse and use of business intelligence; developing an individualized, unified web experience; improving and streamlining identity management and security; and expanding and improving document management.

For students, the goal is to put everything at their fingertips; for faculty, the emphasis is on access. To provide this ease of use and ready access, more than a dozen elements of the Roadmap Project — many of them cloud based — are underway, with numerous new benefits already realized.

Many schools throughout the country have moved their resources online with libraries filled with hundreds of thousands of books that students can access at any time. The advent of online video has made the idea of cloud storage in education even more exciting because schools can produce teaching videos in any subject, upload them to their libraries in the cloud, and make them available to their students.

Boise State is one of several schools that are in the thick of lengthy programs to transform the technological underpinnings of their institutions and prepare their campuses for the world of 21st century learning. And cloud services play an integral part in these preparations.

Educators see the advent of mobile cloud computing as a chance to invigorate lessons with an innovative edge, and this mindset extends to students at the grade-school level as well.

And writing an actual “term paper” could become a quaint concept as students and teachers move to the cloud, according to an article on Heraldonline.com.

“No more, ‘My dog ate my homework,’ and no more, ‘My flash drive got washed,’” said Rick Warner, the Fort Mill (Pennsylvania) school district’s technology director, according to the article on Heraldonline.com.

PatrickPatrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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