Erenben, C. (2009) Cloud Computing: The Economic Imperative eSchool News, March 4

A useful ‘idiot’s guide’ to the relevance of cloud computing to educational institutions. However, the article does not give actual cost data, and does not deal with some of the challenges in any depth.

For instance, some universities, such as the University of British Columbia, will not support services using servers that are located outside Canada (i.e. USA), because data located on ‘foreign’ servers are not subject to the same data privacy laws that protect Canadian students. There are also issues such as security of data (e.g., what happens to research results stored on an external server if the company hosting the server goes bankrupt?), and ‘quality control’, (e.g., ‘naive’ teachers exposing students to poor quality or educationally inappropriate applications of technology).

Although most concerns about cloud computing can be satisfactorily managed with a little thought or experience, it would be useful to have a checklist of dangers and possible policies to avoid such dangers. If anyone knows of such a list for educational institutions, please let me know.


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