Teaching with Technology

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    Learning Amongst the Riches: Students in the Cloud
    blog entry posted September 1, 2010 by Richard E Lillie, last edited February 10, 2012, tagged teaching, technology, technology tools 
    1081 Views, 3 Comments
    Learning Amongst the Riches: Students in the Cloud
    intro text:

    In an article in Campus Technology (September 1, 2010), Trent Batson (MIT) writes that students are moving away from their college or university, not physically, but in terms of their online “center.” More and more, they can engage independently in learning conversations using applications of their own choosing, and they can create their own digital identity that includes their learning spaces--all without using campus-based technology.

    Student working in the cloud

    Without specifically using the term, Batson refers to the challenge of meeting teaching-learning needs of Millennial students.  He considers this issue from four different perspectives.

    • Institutional cloud.
    • Academic side of the cloud.
    • Return to "The Learning Conversation."
    • Student ownership in the cloud.

    Of the four perspectives, the one I found most interesting is Batson's focus on "learning as a conversation."  He says that "conversation among people interested in inquiry in the same field of knowledge is the basis for the idea of the university."  He then considers how Web 2.0 technologies are changing the nature of the teaching-learning conversation.  He suggests that "the cloud" (Web 2.0 technologies) is where new learning conversations and related activities are happening for Millennial students.

    During 2010 CTLA in San Francisco, we talked about the impact of using Web 2.0 ("cloud") technologies to create and share course materials, and to create interactive teaching-learning experiences.  While we considered how we can use Web 2.0 technologies in the teaching-learning process, I am not sure that we viewed Web 2.0 technologies as being an enabler of a conversation.

    Batson concludes that while learning is becoming virtualized, the role of universities (and faculty) is essential as ever (i.e., to guide learners through the process of learning).  The objective remains the same.  How we get there is what is changing.


    Rick Lillie (CalState San Bernardino)



    • Julie Smith David

      This is really interesting, Rick, and I hope it sparks some conversation!

      I have been working with industry leaders to explore the opportunities of Web 2.0, and one common theme I run into is that firms don't want to build communication platforms because they worry what would happen if their customers posted negative comments.... And I keep telling them that the comments are being posted, it's up to them whether they want to be part of the conversation, or not.

      I wonder if the same thing will happen in education (and imagine that it already is).  Students have ways of sharing who are the good/bad faculty and courses.  They have ways to collaborate that we don't even know about... So... will we host the conversations, join in them actively, listen to them from the side lines, or let them go on their own?  Each of these is potentially the outcome, but I think we, as faculty, should be influencing the final outcome.

      Again, thanks for the thoughtful post - I enjoyed it!

    • Robert E Jensen

      "KMPG: 'Cloud is Now'; Technology Spend to Leap Next Year," SmartPros, October 6, 2011 ---

      The vast majority of senior executives globally say their organizations have already moved at least some business activities to the Cloud and expect 2012 investment to skyrocket, with some companies planning to spend more than a fifth of their IT budget on Cloud next year, according to a report by KPMG International.

      “Clearly, these findings proclaim, ‘the Cloud is now,’” said Bryan Cruickshank, KPMG head of Global IT Advisory, Management Consulting. “Clearly Cloud is transcending IT and widely impacting business operations, as a full third of survey respondents said it would fundamentally change their business, which is significant considering many organizations are still developing their Cloud strategies.”

      In a KPMG global survey of organizations that will use the Cloud, as well as companies that will provide Cloud services, economic factors were cited by 76 percent of both groups as an important driver for Cloud adoption. However, a number of other considerations were equally or more important: 80 percent said the switch to Cloud was driven by efforts to improve processes, offering more agility across the enterprise; 79 percent of users and 76 percent of providers said they saw it as having technical benefits, in some cases improvements that they otherwise could not gain from their own data centers; and, 76 percent said the use of Cloud would have strategic benefits, possibly including transforming their business models to gain a competitive advantage.

      Most user respondents to the KPMG survey (81 percent) said they were either evaluating Cloud, planned a Cloud implementation, or had already adopted a Cloud strategy and timeline for their organization, with almost one-quarter of them saying their organization already runs all core IT services on the Cloud (10 percent) or is in transition to do so (13 percent). Fewer than one in 10 executives say their company has no immediate plans to enter the Cloud environment.

      “Cloud adoption is quickly shifting from a competitive advantage to an operational necessity, enabling innovation that can create new business models and opportunities,” said Steve Hasty, head of Global IT Advisory, Risk Consulting. “As this rapid adoption curve continues to gain momentum amid a struggling global economy, it is important for corporate leadership, directors and boards to be informed and engaged in strategic discussions about Cloud’s impact on their long-term growth opportunities and competitiveness.”

      Hasty pointed out that the role of the corporate Cloud leader remained contentious. IT executives see migration to the Cloud as their initiative, while operations executives believe the CEO should lead the change. “Enter the Chief Integration Officer, as the traditional CIO’s role expands to break down potential silos and integrate internal and external business needs, systems and partners,” said Hasty.

      KPMG previewed the survey findings this week during Oracle Open World, Oracle Corp.’s global conference in San Francisco.

      IT-Business Executives Differ Moderately on Cloud Expectations

      Executives whose companies would use a Cloud strategy agree that spending will rise significantly in 2012.

      According to the KPMG survey, 17 percent of corporate executives said Cloud spending would exceed 20 percent of the total IT budget in 2012.

      Continued in article


      Blog Entry from Jerry Trites on October 7, 2011 ---

      Web Application Security: Business and Risk Considerations

      ISACA has a White Paper on its website with the above title. The paper is an excellent resource for those interested in cloud risks and how to address them. That includes a lot of people!

      One of the interesting parts of the paper is the table listing the various types of vulnerabilities encountered in the cloud. These include SQL Injection, Cross-site scripting and Insecure Direct Object Reference, among others. The paper goes on to list some areas of security to focus on, including some specific guidance on the old stand-by's of executive support, training and support.

      The paper concludes with assurance considerations, including the use of Cobit to strengthen controls.

      An excellent paper.
      You can download it through this link.

      Bob Jensen's threads on computing and network security ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Up in the Cloud: Hype and High Expectations for Cloud Computing," Knowledge@Wharton, January 16, 2013 ---