ERIC Number: EJ839595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
The Start of a Tech Revolution
Dyrli, Kurt O.
District Administration, v45 n5 p31-33 May 2009
We are at the start of a revolution in the use of computers, one that analysts predict will rival the development of the PC in its significance. Companies such as Google, HP, Amazon, Sun Microsystems, Sony, IBM, and Apple are orienting their entire business models toward this change, and software maker SAS has announced plans for a $70 million facility just to keep up with the demand. The average consumer actively uses this model of technology multiple times a day, thousands of school districts use its services already, and many believe K12 education will completely embrace this technology structure in the coming years, revolutionizing how educators, students, and administrators use software, hardware, and the Internet. But many are unaware of the paradigm shift that they are participating in every day: it's called "cloud computing." Software was once the main way to access content on a computer, but today users access most content and applications on the Web. Users are saving less information on their individual machines and ever more online. While millions of users have an e-mail account with either Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, few of them know where the information is stored or where e-mails travel between the writer and recipient. The data are stored "out there," traveling through a "cloud," the larger network, the Internet. Having data accessible through the Internet enables users to log in and read their e-mail from practically any location and on a variety of platforms. The hardware or software installed locally is irrelevant to the user's ability to access information. In K12 education, "cloud computing" holds incredible promise for improving efficiency and reducing costs related to maintenance and installation, particularly in district administrative functions. As more resources move online into the "cloud," the need for constantly upgraded software, computers, and local servers rapidly erodes, saving time and money. This article describes some district management technology tools that are already heading into the "cloud." A companion video to this article explaining cloud computing is also available.
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Computers, Educational Technology, School Districts, Internet, Computer Software, Users (Information), Information Technology, Models, Electronic Mail
Professional Media Group, LLC. 488 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851. Tel: 203-663-0100; Fax: 203-663-0149; Web site: http://www.districtadministration.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A