Other Examples of Cloud Learning
Here are some examples of software applications and tools that could be leveraged for teaching and learning -
Learning Management System (LMS)
A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that is used for managing student registration, administration and delivery of online education courses or training programs . Many LMS applications provide tracking of learning behaviour and analytics that help inform teaching and learning.
Content Management System (CMS)
A Content Management System is an application that provides centralized storage and management of curricular and website content. Many CMS systems provide web based collaborative authoring, workflow management, versioning and copyright management features.
There are number of free and premium photo/video sharing applications that allow storage of HD quality photos and streaming of high definition video on the cloud.
Social media applications allow students to freely collaborate with each other, network with like minded people, follow their 'tweets', 'like' their Facebook pages, join discussions and groups on LinkedIn and also search for jobs.
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course that is aimed for large-scale participation and open access via the internet. MOOCs are gaining popularity because they allow learners to get access to quality education and training from some of the sought after professors. Typically MOOC courses do not provide any credits towards university education, however some institutions may offer certification after passing their assessment criteria.
Students and faculty no longer have to buy software for word processing, spreadsheets and making presentations. Google apps provide commonly used productivity applications free for use on the cloud. Microsoft is also following Google's footsteps although they charge CAD $3.06/ month for students and CAD $5.50 for faculty and staff.
Virtual Classroom tools have now been replaced with modern web conferencing tools that provide active collaboration between students and faculty. Following cloud based conferencing tools allow group discussions, video and file sharing in addition to text, audio/video chat.
Cloud based storage services have made it easy to synchronize content irrespective of the device we use to access it. Cloud based storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive make content sharing easy and intuitive. For instance, students can start working on a document at school on their laptop, continue refining it when they are in transit via their smartphone/ tablet and finally complete it on their desktop when they reach home.
Educational institutions no longer need to invest heavily in maintaining and supporting their hardware infrastructure. Cloud based infrastructure services such as Windows Azure allow hosting of enterprise applications at a fraction of the cost as compared to traditional systems. In addition, cloud based infrastructure is flexible and can be expanded or reduced on needs basis thereby providing additional cost savings without affecting performance.