GoogleTranslate Service

Does education need its own cloud?

April 29th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

The education technology community is forever forecasting future trends – and little wonder in a fast changing technology world. And almost every list poses cloud computing as a major trend for the future provision of education services and Technology Enhanced Learning. It is not difficult to see why. Technology provision is increasingly complex and is probably not seen as a core activity by institutions. Outsourced cloud solutions may be much cheaper and can free up staff to work on teaching and learning development. many UK universities have formed partnerships with Google to provide email and other services.

Yet the events of this week with a still unexplained outage by Amazon causing many sites to be unavailable for a sustained period and a not inconsiderable data loss, coupled with the hacking of user names, passwords and bank details from Sony may cause some rethinking.

Of course it could just be seen as a technical issue. Amazon need better back up, Sony need better security. But I think we need to view these events from a socio technical viewpoint. Do we wish that educational data and services are trusted to multi national coorporations? What should the relationship be between institutions and external service providers? If so, what data? Do these organisations understand what data is critical – for institutions and for learners? What rights should learners have over their own data and how can this be provided?

In the UK Jisc is exploring the potential for joint educational cloud service provision. This seems to me the right way to go. There seems no denying the potential power of cloud based services. This could be especially important for smaller schools and colleges, many of whom are struggling to even maintain Moodle. And there is no guarantee against outages or security problems if these services are controlled by educational bodies. But if the community is in control of its own services at least there is a chance that the socio technical issues related to service provision and data security have some chance of being understood.

Please follow and like us:

Comments are closed.

  • Search

    Social Media

    News Bites

    Cyborg patented?

    Forbes reports that Microsoft has obtained a patent for a “conversational chatbot of a specific person” created from images, recordings, participation in social networks, emails, letters, etc., coupled with the possible generation of a 2D or 3D model of the person.

    Please follow and like us:

    Racial bias in algorithms

    From the UK Open Data Institute’s Week in Data newsletter

    This week, Twitter apologised for racial bias within its image-cropping algorithm. The feature is designed to automatically crop images to highlight focal points – including faces. But, Twitter users discovered that, in practice, white faces were focused on, and black faces were cropped out. And, Twitter isn’t the only platform struggling with its algorithm – YouTube has also announced plans to bring back higher levels of human moderation for removing content, after its AI-centred approach resulted in over-censorship, with videos being removed at far higher rates than with human moderators.

    Please follow and like us:

    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.

    Please follow and like us:

    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.

    Please follow and like us:

    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

      Please follow and like us:
  • Twitter

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Categories