In the 2009 Horizon Report, Cloud Computing is anticipated as one of the key technology trends that is likely to have a significant impact on teaching and learning environment within a year’s time. The term cloud computing has become another buzz word in the tech industry, IT press and increasingly popular within the education sector. What does cloud computing really mean for institutions? How is it best to broach the benefits and risks that cloud computing may bring to Higher Education Institutions? A CETIS cloud computing activity group has been set up to look at the various issues facing institutions when it comes to considering the educational uses of cloud computing. My colleagues Wilbert, Mark and I have carried out some initial activities around cloud computing to explore how it has been used/might be used in education. As a result, we have gathered a collection of resources, including blogs, articles and academic papers which provide the latest discussions, developments and applications of cloud computing in education which are available at delicious with a tag #cetis-cloud-wg. We also conducted an online survey to collect some basic data on the use of cloud computing in institutions in order to help us understand the current situations and the main issues that institutions are facing when considering adopting cloud computing. Around 58 people participated in the survey and the full survey report is available here. Furthermore, a cloud computing session has been proposed to gather ideas and initiate more in-depth discussions on the issues at the CETIS conference in November this year. We have also planned a CETIS public event on cloud computing to provide opportunities for IS managers and anyone who is interested in cloud computing to share their thoughts and experiences on developing and using cloud computing services.
Based on the literature review and analysis of the current cloud computing service provisions and applications in institutions, we are also busy producing a briefing paper to introduce cloud computing to educators and help them to gain a better understanding of the conception of cloud technology and its impact on teaching and learning in institutions. The briefing is near complete, and will be presented in printed form later. We very much welcome you input and suggestes at this stage. For more information about the CETIS cloud computing activity group contact Wilbert Kraan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Power at email@example.com.