Introduction to the Cloud
Cloud computing is a term that refers to an online resource for posting, sharing, or storing your digital content. There are many different types of cloud services.
An advantage of these cloud resources is that you can access and share your files and bookmarks without having to use a flash drive, CD, or your own computing hard drive.
To use cloud computing you must have an Internet connection, computing device (cell phone, tablet, computer, etc.), and create an account on the service site. The benefits of cloud computing include anytime and anywhere access, less storage or demands on individual machines, and the potential transfer of technical support and maintenance to a third party. The computing resources are often owned by a third-party company (e.g. Diigo, Dropbox, Google, Microsoft OneDrive, Symbaloo). Some cloud resources may require a download.
Some of the benefits of having access to a cloud resource on the Internet include:
- Storing your important files, pictures, and documents online where you can access them from different locations and computing devices.
- Sharing your files with others by providing permissions for access.
- Cost efficient way to store a lot of information.
- A way to backup your important documents.
- Saving and organizing your favorite bookmarked sites
Throughout the 21Things4Teachers site, you are going to learn about and use many different cloud resources.
What is the Cloud?
Please watch this video (3:28 minute Computer Basics: What is the Cloud? on YouTube). We hope you will be fascinated by this historical view following computing through history to cloud computing.
This next video is Stephen Fry's animated explanation of cloud computing (5:38 minute video commissioned by Databarracks Bank). Throughout the 21 Things, you will be learning how to use many resources in the cloud.
Online Bookmarking of Favorite Bookmarks
Online bookmarking uses the cloud to save bookmarks. One of the easiest ways for teachers to improve productivity is to organize their web bookmarks, and to have them available on any computer at home, work, and around the globe. To do this we recommend Diigo or Symbaloo
Cloud Resources for Sharing and Storing Digital Content
The following resources require you to create an account (free) to upload, share, and store your digital content. We are showcasing four of the most commonly used ones in education.
2 GB free
15 GB* for drive, gmail, google+photos * 30 GB for Google Apps at work or school
Check out additional resources for Cloud Initiation
After completing this Thing, the educator will:
Know how to create, organize, use and share online bookmarks
Know how to upload, store and retrieve documents in the cloud
Understand cloud computing
Make connections with technology standards and best practice
Transfer the learning to professional practice to begin storing and sharing resources in the cloud
21 Things Assignment:
1. Create your own Diigo or Symbaloo page and add at least 5 bookmarks that will support your teaching. Copy and paste the URL for your Diigo or Symbaloo page to your Digital Portfolio. As you learn about new resources from this point forward make sure to bookmark them in the bookmarking tool of your choice.
2. Create a Free account at Dropbox.com, Google Drive, or Microsoft365. Create at least three folders in your cloud space for content you may want to upload. Upload at least one document into a folder. Take a screenshop of your folders and the document inside one of them. Post the screenshot to your Digital Portfolio with a brief description. Optional: download the Dropbox application to your computer, tablet, or mobile device.
3. Consider what these new practices might look like in your environment. Create a thoughtful response conveying your reflection of learning for this thing and how it has changed your own practice. Post this reflection to your Digital Portfolio.
4. Take the very short survey giving feedback on this Thing.
Addressing the ISTE Standards•T:
- Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity b;
- Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments a;
- Model Digital Age Work and Learning a,b
- Cooperative Learning;
- Cues/Questions/Advance Organizers;
- Summarizing & Notetaking;
- Assigning Homework & Practice