But what does it mean? We'd posed that question in 5th Grade Technology class recently - and had all sorts of ideas Some of them were fun or zany, but we worked toward this understanding as presented YouTube:
Now let's talk about working in the cloud. Instead of simply storing media on these servers - we are essentially sharing processing power to perform all sorts of functions. For example: Have you heard of Google Docs (a.k.a. Google Drive)? It's where you can create and store documents online. In fact, Google has a whole suite of programs that rival Microsoft Office, all for free - allowing for presentations. spreadsheets, forms and more. And because it's all stored in the cloud, and accessible on the internet, you can access your files on any device anywhere, so long as you've got the connection.
Stevenson students are fully aware of cloud computing: We use all sorts of programs online, from IXL to Google Drive, Voicethread to Lingt language, Quia, and more. We even host an online learning platform called iLearn, which allows students to access e-learning created by our teachers. We've even just started a cloud-based keyboarding program for students to practice their typing skills.
We're really actually quite proud of the students for examining these tools for their best uses. Just yesterday - I asked the students what they were up to, with all the laptops open in class. As a group - they were creating a presentation for Chinese class. When I asked if Ms. Wu had prompted them to use Google Presentations, they replied "no, but it made sense because we can share editing access with each other using this." Another group was using Prezi for the same reason. Nope, not many kids turned to Microsoft PowerPoint here. They knew better.
Other students are just getting started working on their e-Portfolios for school. Using the applications in Google Drive, they can simply embed their work into a Google Site - and show it off to our Stevenson community.
It's quite simple. If you think storing your work online - for easy management and access from any device, in any location - sounds like a great idea, then you should take a look at some of these cloud computing services. Some worry about privacy - perhaps for a good reason, because you are trusting a service to store your personal files. For most of us, any disadvantages are forgotten when you realize the conveniences in the cloud.