But what exactly is Â´Cloud ComputingÂ´?
The term Â´Cloud ComputingÂ´, first coined on the 24th February, 2007, was inspired by the cloud symbol which is often used to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams and flowcharts. It is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet and it differentiates from traditional hosting in that Â´CloudsÂ´ have five essential characteristics: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service. The concept, put simply, is that vast computing resources that can be connected to and used whenever needed, will reside somewhere out in the ether, rather than in the computer suite.
Cloud computing provides a convenient way of accessing computing services, independent of the hardware you use or your physical location. It relieves the need to store information on your PC, mobile device or gadget with the assumption that the information can be quickly and easily accessed via the net. Cloud computing also negates the need to download or install dedicated software on your own computer, freeing up onboard memory and reducing energy costs.
You are probably already using cloud computing services without realizing it. Google is one of the most prominent companies offering software as a free online service to billions of users across the world. With their massive computer infrastructure (or cloud) the internet giant hosts a set of online productivity tools and applications such as email, word processing, calendars, photo sharing, and website creation tools. Google has also made great advances into the UK education system with their Google Apps EDU package which has been adopted by many high profile academic institutions.
Following in the footsteps of universities in the UK, Mayfair International Academy has introduced Cloud Computing throughout both the Primary and Secondary schools.
All students now have their own application suite, accessible from anywhere with internet connection. The integration of Google Apps into the schoolÂ’s current IT infrastructure allows all students to have their own secure account within the Mayfair Domain with e.mail, document applications, calendars, timetables and discussion forums. These applications allow students to work collaboratively on documents, access and submit school work assignments, from both school and home, access material and post questions to Form Tutors and teachers. Teachers can then assess the studentÂ’s work online and return it to the student with helpful advice.
When new technological advancements are effectively integrated into a school, such as Mayfair AcademyÂ’s Cloud Computing, it helps to create a better learning environment supported by a more efficient and effective teaching staff.