What Cloud Computing Affords Education

What Cloud Computing Affords Education.  (Based on Grey’s Model in Grey, 1999, The Internet in School, Cassell.)

The ideas that appear in this blog entry are taken from several workshops given by Isil Boy and Martin Curtis at the Pearson Education Amazing Minds Weekend in Dubai, December 2012.


Cloud Computing :

Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).  (http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/definition/cloud-computing)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud computing


In lay terms Cloud Computing in education means the integration of The Internet, platforms, apps and mobile devices into the learning process .

Mobile Technologies in Language learning

M learning  

M learning   learning on the go

E learning  

Mobile, more personalized constant connectivity

E learning beyond classroom]

M learning beyond the computer screen

Learning anywhere anytime = Connectivism 



With the help of m learning, made more possible by Cloud Computing we can improve the learning process , making learning more sustainable  and deeper.

Benefit One: Search and Receive

Cloud computing is a virtual library which provides learners with things to watch, read, listen to and look at. The iPad, as curator ( Christine Ozden, Pearson), helps learners develop Knowledge information literacy(Dr Puentedura).


Textgrabber:  scan a text and the App converts it into a digital format. SeeYouTube: http://bit.ly/textgrabber. It also is capable of translating texts into other languages.

News Reader Zite : saves articles appertaining to areas of interest that the App user has tagged in a magazine format. Like Scoop It, it has a very powerful discovery engine that finds texts from a wide variety of sources, the user would not have time to scan through.

Diigo Offline Reader: allows users to save texts from websites and read them offline.

The Poetry App: more than a hundred poems read out by famous names and downloadable so that they can be used offline.

Stitcher: the radio equivalent of Scoop it and News Reader Zite. Stitcher streams content to the users mobile device, eliminating the need to synchronize listening material as is the case with podcasts. Listening material is organized according to Stations such as CNN and The BBC. A favoriting system allows the user to curate material around themes they are interested in.

Benefit Two: Share and Publish

Cloud computing as a publishing and disseminating facility.

Use screencast software such as Jing, Explain Everything or Educreations to create explanations and examples of the key grammar points that are in the students learning outcomes for the course. Upload them to screencast.com and add get the HMLT code to embed it into a class blog. Students can look at these in their own time to cement the learning they did in class and as revision before exams.

Metaknowledge, knowing how to organize knowledge includes planning, tagging, modeling etc. which requires creativity and innovation(Dr Puentedura ). Metaknowledge can be developed by digital story telling.

In her wiki ‘digitalstorycake.pbworks.com’, Isil uses the Dual Coding Theory to explain how digital stories encourage deeper learning.

In her session, Isil discussed Mayer’s ( 2005) principles of how people process material presented in a multimedia format. The basic premise is to avoid cognitive overload by adding to many bells and flashing lights which distract rather than enhance learning, and also to avoid presenting learners with the same information in multiple forms, simultaneously. Mayer recommends that instead of delivering your message by pictures, and text which is also orally narrated, it is better to supplement the audio rendition of the story with key words that help the listener grasp what is pivotal to the message.

Session participants brainstormed their digital story telling features wish list:

A user friendly interface,   an editable recording function, a voice customizer which would deepen or thin a voice so that a single narrator could speak for more than one character, templates to scaffold learning, the ability to insert photos and/or draw pictures interwoven with the text, an animation feature, and the ability to embed the story into blogs or wikis and to share it by email even if it is over a minute in length.

Isil added to this list the questions:

Is the digital story telling toolkit: free, stable in that it is not new and is not likely to disappear in the near future and is it appropriate for the learning outcome it should help achieve?


Recommended digital story telling apps or websites:

StoryKit, Animoto, Little Bird Tales, Zoobust 

Recommended ways of sharing student or teacher authored stories:

Box, PB works, Posterous ,Audioboo

Protecting materials generated in the classroom or by the teacher.

Courseware Licensing: http://creativecommons.org

Benefit Three: Talk/ Write to and Reply

Cloud computing as a place for interpersonal communication via email, chat rooms, discussion boards and voice over internet protocols.


Epals. http://www.epals.com/

Benefit Four: Collaborate and Learn

Cloud computing as a place for global communication and joint projects which can be incredibly immersive and active learning environments.

Todaysmeet:  http://ebookbrowse.com/todaysmeet-teachers-pdf-d95056326  and http://www.todaysmeet.com/ . Students comment on lessons or enter their own examples for everyone to see, in real time as the progresses. Students who do not understand a concept, benefit from seeing examples produce by classmates. They can also ask for clarification in L1.

Wallwisher  App: http://prezi.com/q0oq0kus0ahu/wallwisher-in-education/ and http://blog.simplek12.com/education/5-fantastic-ways-to-use-wallwisher-in-the-classroom/

 Linoit : http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2011/05/linoit-free-awesome-stickies-maker.html   and http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2010/05/lino-it-online-collaborative-multimedia.html#.UPUlxR2cdyw

Google docs: collaboration up to 10 users can co-author a document at the same time. http://edudemic.com/2012/04/50-little-known-ways-google-docs-can-help-in-education/




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