The development of the web has no doubt placed more technology and information directly in the hands of individuals.The barriers to technological innovation keep lowering, and individuals need to turn less often to professional IT groups to help them develop solutions. Research labs, individual faculty, and staff have access to comparatively powerful technology tools that enable them to innovate.
I have been using the Cloud without even knowing, but mainly socially. It is only since the beginning of this year that I have really seen the use for education, and its not that I don't use technology, I just didn't know how much was out there.
A colleague approached me near the end of 2009 to ask advice about using Google Docs with her Science class and I had to admit, as the 'go to' technology help person, I couldn't help. Two babies in the space of two years had taken me away from the web2 changes, lucky for me (and my classes) I don't like not knowing, or at the very least knowing about, and so began to investigate. One thing led to another and my school is now running a Sydney CEO pilot school for using Google Apps.
Not everyone is on board yet and I'm a little bit ashamed to admit that I am using the model of 'lay the table and they will come', but then, at the start of 2010 I was a Year Coordinator and have only recently become eLearning Coordinator. While my colleagues have always trusted me with their technology questions, being the pusher of cloud computing was outside my area of responsibility and I didn't want to step on any toes.
It is now half way through the school year and we have 320 Google Apps users out of a possible 480 (or so) College members. Use of Google Apps by a few teachers has encouraged many others to be interested, want to know what it is all about and to get involved. In September we are having a Professional Development Day that is dedicated to using technology in education for differentiation. The first session will be an introduction to Google Apps and will present what it can be used for as well as showcase how some KLAs are already using cloud computing, especially for differentiating the teaching and learning experience.
The second part if the day will be much more exciting as staff will have the opportunity to be hands on with their exploration, use, and implementation of everything the cloud.
My own experience, I feel, is limited, but I am willing to explore...like the students in my classes.
Goldstein, P (2009), The Tower, the Cloud, and the IT leader and workforce, in Katz, R (ed) (2009), The Tower and the Cloud: Higher Education in the Age of Cloud Computing, Educause http://www.educause.edu/thetowerandthecloud
Powell, J, Cloud computing – what is it and what does it mean for