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Cloud Computing draft Cloud computing, also called internet-based computing, allows end users to perform actions very similar to what they normally do on their computer, but on the web. The idea of cloud computing is not recent at all. It was introduced in 1969 by J.C.R. Licklider, the developer of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). The concept of cloud computing was called ‘Intergalactic computer network’ back then, and is meant to offer mobility, autonomy, reduced cost, and practicality to end users around the globe.

Mobility: Users normally save all their work on their personal computers and can only access them from there. With cloud computing, your work is saved on the web. All the applications that you work on, or the storage devices that you use, are web-based. This means you can access your work from any computer connected to the internet. (More on this in SAAS) Autonomy: If your computer crashes, you may lose all your work and may have to seek technical assistance to restore it. With cloud computing, you are relieved from all the painstaking technical expertise that computer users currently have to be equipped with in order to insure correct functionality of their computers. Since all the applications you access are not on your computer, rather on the web, you never have to deal with technical issues. Reduce cost: You normally have to purchase a licensed copy of every single application you need to work on (unless piracy is on your mind), and you incur substantial expenses on storage devices (additional RAMs, external hard drives, flash sticks, you name it) to secure your work. After all, you can’t risk losing all your work by simply storing it on your computer that’s hacked and hammered with viruses every second of every minute of every hour you are on the net. Cloud computing offers you the possibility to access those very same applications and storage devices either for free or for a minimal (relatively speaking) subscription-based fee. For example, Windows Azure (See PAAS for more details) charges $0.12 per hour for accessing applications, and $0.15 per gigabyte per monthly storage. If you compare these to the $500 MS Office 2010 professional licensed copy and to the $17.50 1 GB RAM, you’ll realize what a great deal it is to cloud compute. The price of 1 GB RAM costs as much as 10 years of cloud storage, bearing in mind that your computer may not survive 10 years and may lose your data at the slightest virus infection. Practicality: In addition to the benefits mentioned above, here are a couple of practical aspects of cloud computing:  You no longer need to download programs; you simply log on to the network.  You can store much more information than on a personal computer.  You can easily share your work; a link to your cloud address would do. No need for emails or uploads, especially when considering large numbers of viewers. Prepared by: Web4all

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Cloud Computing draft Cloud computing consists of 3 services:




Software As A Service

Platform As A Service

Infrastructure As A Service

For reasons of simplicity and relevance, this report will focus mainly on SAAS. Nonetheless, it will shed some light on PAAS and IAAS and will include a couple of examples for advanced users. Towards the end will figure a couple of examples on how cloud computing is used in education. The final part will highlight how I intend to implement cloud computing in teaching and my big Kahuna project.

Software As A Service SAAS entails using existing online applications. These applications have already been developed by the service provider and enable end users to use them within the constraints and limitations set by the service provider. Examples of SAAS include Google Docs, Writeboard, Pixlr, Aviary, Jaycut, and Issuu.

ď ś Google Docs

Google Docs provides an easy way to access documents and share them with others. These documents are the same as the ones found in MS Office, but with some limitations. For example, not all the formatting features offered in MS Office can be found in Google Docs, but this may soon change. Nonetheless, a lot of businesses have adopted Google Docs to collaborate on files more smoothly and make documents and presentations available to large numbers of employees at one location. Click on the picture to learn more about Google Docs. Prepared by: Web4all

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Cloud Computing draft  Writeboard

Similar to Google Docs, Whiteboard is another document sharing collaborating tool. It’s totally free, and very user friendly; you can create your own Writeboard in 3 steps. Click on the picture to learn more about Writeboard.  Pixlr

Pixlr is a free online photo editor. You can upload your own photo and adjust it the way you like right online. You can upload any photo that you have permission to use, either from your own photo gallery or from any URL address. Click on the picture to learn more about Pixlr. Below are some examples of what you can do with Pixlr.

 Aviary

Aviary offers a set of creation tools. In addition to the common tasks that you can perform on a picture, Aviary enables music creation as well as audio editing, and your work can be easily embedded in your website. Click on the picture to learn more about Aviary.

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Cloud Computing draft  Jaycut

Jaycut is a free online video editor that allows you to create movies and slideshows that can be easily embedded in your website. It works just like Windows Movie Maker, but saves you the trouble of converting it and uploading it to your website. The menu comes in 11 languages. Click on the picture to learn more about Jaycut.  Issuu

Issuu is both a software and platform service (see PAAS for more on platform services). It’s a software service in the sense that you can easily share your work and embed it in your website. The fact that you can customize it to your viewers makes it a platform service. Issuu is an excellent way to publish your work online. For a $228annual subscription fee, you get rid of ads and can have Issuu handle all your work so it’s presented professionally. Click on the picture to learn more about Issuu.

Platform As A Service PAAS allows users to develop their own applications by using a programming language. The service that hosts such customized applications is called PAAS. Examples of PAAS include Google App Engine, Windows Azure, and Salesforce.

 Google App Engine

Google App Engine is a platform that allows users to program their own applications using programming languages like Java and Python. For $50 a year, you can subscribe and easily start programming your applications and saving them online. Click on the picture to learn more about using Java with Google App Engine.

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Cloud Computing draft  Windows Azure

Built by Microsoft Inc., Windows Azure helps end users program their own applications and hosts them on the web. As with Google App Engine, you need to be familiar with programming languages. Click on the picture to find out how Window Azure works.

 Salesforce

Highly competitive and adopted by major businesses, Salesforce seems to have acquired a reputation for its reliability and convenient services. Based on the same principles as Google App Engine and Windows Azure, Salesforce allows end users to customize their own applications. Click on the picture to learn more about the joined venture between Salesforce and Google Apps.

Infrastructure As A Service IAAS, as the name suggests, offers the entire range of possibilities on demand, from storage to applications and operating systems. It’s pretty much a combination of both SAAS and PAAS. Examples of IAAS include Office Live Workspace and Office 365 for Education. Click on the pictures below for a demo.

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Cloud Computing draft

Applications of Cloud Computing Cloud computing is used in business and education. Business enterprises benefit from the reduced costs of the otherwise costly maintenance of servers and various technical issues. Their staff can also share their work online, access material from anywhere, and work simultaneously on the same project without being physically in one place. Salesforce is a pioneer in providing PAAS to all types of businesses. Click on the picture below to see a short video about the power of cloud computing for businesses around the world.

The essence of cloud computing in business lies in the ability to save time, an important commodity in today’s world where falling behind can be deadly. Companies distribute their resources adequately, and time is used focusing on business aspects related to productivity growth. Expenses are cut and non-fundamental business-related issues (such as technical problems, maintenance, updates) are handled by the cloud’s professional team.

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Cloud Computing draft Educational institutions have also come to realize the importance of cloud computing, from both a business as well as an educational point of view. From a business point of view, it’s pretty much the same as explained above for businesses. The video below highlights how schools and universities can benefit from cloud computing.

As cloud computing started to emerge, schools have seen tremendous benefits of its implementation in the classroom. It allows for more flexibility and independence. Students no longer have to skip an important event or be physically together to collaborate on a document or prepare assignments. Since cloud computing offers the possibility to access one’s work from anywhere and any computer, students can organize their schedule and keep in touch round the clock through instant messaging, voice over the Internet and email. With learner computers being prone to breaking down, students don’t have to worry about saving their work; it’s all handled by the cloud for free or for a minimal charge. The video below explains how Office Live Workspace is used in the classroom.

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Cloud Computing draft

Cloud computing & my teaching Cloud computing has been an essential part of my teaching for some time now. It has turned the whole learning experience into a fun and easy one. o Collaboration Students nowadays hardly ever work in isolation. This said, they need to find a practical way to collaborate when not at school or college. What better way is there than to use Google apps or Office Live Workspace. While working simultaneously on the same document, students remain up to date with the latest changes made to the document and touch base with one another from a place of their convenience. Gone are the days when students were constrained by time and space. What’s more, I can monitor each student’s level of contribution by revising the document’s history; this is an excellent indicator of individual input. o Security Students are known to be mindless and careless, which means they can easily lose their work if it’s not stored in a safe place preferably managed by someone else. Again, Google Docs and Office Live Workspace offer this service to students for free. o Reduced cost With cloud computing, students don’t have to worry about software and hardware expenses. Google apps is free of charge, and Office Live Workspace offers these services to students for free or at a minimal cost. o Quality of work Cloud computing offers a wide variety of software applications handled by professionals. Students can customize their own workspace using existing themes and other features that come along with the application, such as inserting their picture, managing the calendar, and much more. Applications such as Pixlr and Jaycut mean students don’t have to worry about converting the format of their work; this is taken care by the cloud’s team of experts.

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Cloud Computing draft

Cloud computing & my big Kahuna My big Kahuna project aims to teach biography writing. Cloud computing will come in very handy for me and my students. As far as I’m concerned, it’ll allow me to present the material nicely and make it easily accessible for students. I won’t have to email it to them or have them download it; they’ll just view it online. As far as the students are concerned, they’ll be able to collaborate on the same document regardless of time and space, using Google Docs or Writeboard. They’ll also benefit from the existing software applications like Pixlr and Aviary to edit and share pictures. For the more ambitious students, Jaycut will offer them the opportunity to prepare movies that can be easily embedded in their work space – no need for converting or uploading. And as what matters most, all these applications are next to free, if not completely free, and relieves students from the burden of downloading and maintaining their computers. Final word There’s no doubt that cloud computing has changed the way businesses operate and education takes place. Whereas it has empowered users with endless possibilities, cut down on their expenses, and put at their disposal an unprecedented collection of powerful services, it has also given rise to a sizeable concern: the future of some existing careers. It may have made end users’ life much easier, but it has also endangered the prospects of software and hardware companies, along with their expert personnel. If all end users’ need is a simple device that connects them to the Internet, what’s going to happen to all those powerful computer companies? To those software engineers? Has their knowledge become obsolete? True that the world still needs them, but not in such high numbers. Colleges and universities may also witness a significant drop in the number of students enrolling in computer studies; after all, computer users no longer need to possess such advanced computer literacy. It looks like the impact of cloud computing is immeasurable. Over the past century, the world has witnessed major shifts in business and education, all due to technology, and so far it has coped with these quite expectantly. The time has come to welcome a new era where technology has once again proven to work in favor of mankind.

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Cloud computing