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Cloud Computing for Adult Literacy

Cloud computing is described and related to adult literacy challenges in Canada.

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Cloud Computing for Adult Literacy

  1. 1. Cloud Computing & Adult Literacy How cloud computing can sustain the promise of Adult Learning Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License Griff Richards, Rory McGreal, Brian Stewart CNIE May 2011 Hamilton ON
  2. 2. What is cloud computing and why is it important for Adult Literacy? <ul><li>“ Cloud computing is a nebulous term” </li></ul><ul><li>(Anon.) </li></ul>
  3. 3. “ CLOUD” defined <ul><li>Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, 2006: </li></ul><ul><li>It starts with the premise that the data services and architecture should be on servers. We call it cloud computing – they should be in a “cloud” somewhere. </li></ul><ul><li>The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines the term as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction (Mell & Grance, 2009) . </li></ul>
  4. 4. “ CLOUD” defined
  5. 5. Gartner Hype Cycle 2010
  6. 6. Adult Literacy in Canada Prose Literacy
  7. 7. Adult Literacy in Canada
  8. 8. Adult Literacy in Canada <ul><li>faces endemic regionalization </li></ul><ul><li>programming challenges not computing </li></ul><ul><li>politics </li></ul><ul><li>funding </li></ul><ul><li>community leadership </li></ul><ul><li>professional collaboration </li></ul>
  9. 9. Why the Cloud for Adult Literacy? Lori Herod
  10. 10. Adult Literacy in Canada <ul><li>faces endemic regionalization </li></ul><ul><li>programming challenges not computing </li></ul><ul><li>politics </li></ul><ul><li>funding </li></ul><ul><li>community leadership </li></ul><ul><li>professional collaboration </li></ul>
  11. 11. Cloud Computing <ul><li>accessing and using ICT </li></ul><ul><li>housed on “server farms” - large industrial scale computing centres. </li></ul><ul><li>computing services at less cost </li></ul><ul><li>lower energy costs - data centres near power </li></ul>
  12. 12. Cloud Computing <ul><li>Virtualization </li></ul><ul><li>Device independence </li></ul><ul><li>Elasticity </li></ul>
  13. 13. Cloud Computing <ul><li>On demand </li></ul><ul><li>Pay for bandwidth used </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial scale </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces capital/energy costs </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces physical space, labour </li></ul>
  14. 14. Concerns over cloud computing <ul><li>  Security </li></ul><ul><li>Fast reliable internet </li></ul><ul><li>switching costs </li></ul><ul><li>hype </li></ul>
  15. 15. Why cloud computing? <ul><li>Katz, Goldstein & Yanosky (2009) : </li></ul><ul><li>Driving down capital costs of IT </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating transparent matching of IT demand, costs, and funding; </li></ul><ul><li>scaling IT; </li></ul><ul><li>fostering further IT standardization; </li></ul><ul><li>accelerating time to market by reducing IT supply bottlenecks; </li></ul>
  16. 16. Why cloud computing (2)? <ul><li>Countering consumerization of IT services </li></ul><ul><li>Access to scarce IT talent   </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting a five-9s & 24 x 7 x 365 </li></ul><ul><li>Renewable energy </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability internal/external </li></ul>Katz, Goldstein & Yanosky (2009)
  17. 18. Cloud service models <ul><li>3 technical/marketing categories: </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) where the expert user implements their own software to optimize use of the computing facility </li></ul><ul><li>Platform as a Service (PaaS) where the client customizes their application to run inside the cloud management software </li></ul><ul><li>Software as a Service (SaaS) like Gmail where the user simply uses the software provided </li></ul><ul><li>suit user independence, expertise, budget and technical needs </li></ul>
  18. 19. Cloud services <ul><li>addressing content quality </li></ul><ul><li>learner support </li></ul><ul><li>compatibility of administrative systems </li></ul><ul><li>on-going IT management infrastructures, tools, broadband availability, support services (helpdesk) </li></ul><ul><li>evergreening of IT </li></ul>
  19. 20. Cloud services
  20. 21. Private Cloud Services
  21. 22. What is the current state of Adult Literacy education in Canada: Is a cohesive community possible? <ul><li>Thematic report by OECD </li></ul><ul><li>lack of a coordinated federal-provincial policy </li></ul><ul><li>special needs of adults neglected </li></ul><ul><li>No coherent system of adult education </li></ul><ul><li>Adult education is vulnerable to instability in government </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  22. 23. Adult Ed & Literacy: Approaches/Organizations <ul><li>community groups </li></ul><ul><li>community colleges or partnerships of both </li></ul><ul><li>. Funding: federal employment & provincial education </li></ul><ul><li>Funding is usually short term </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to sustain programs and staff </li></ul>
  23. 24. Target audiences for adult literacy <ul><li>Rural and remote Canadians </li></ul><ul><li>Aboriginals </li></ul><ul><li>School dropouts (working poor) </li></ul><ul><li>New Canadians – immigrants who are literate in their own language. </li></ul>
  24. 25. Needy populations <ul><li>Aboriginals </li></ul><ul><li>working poor </li></ul><ul><li>Rural isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Urban </li></ul><ul><li>Access to IT </li></ul>
  25. 26. Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition <ul><li>PLAR: life experiences and skills - academic credits </li></ul><ul><li>“ laddering” or transferring credits </li></ul>
  26. 27. Adult Literacy Networks <ul><li>National Adult Literacy Database www.nald.ca </li></ul><ul><li>Alpha Plus www.alphaplus.com </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Literacy and Learning Network www.literacy.ca/ ) </li></ul>
  27. 28. What is the current use of information technologies to support Adult Literacy? <ul><li>Basic patterns: </li></ul><ul><li>CBTs on DVD or via web-sites. </li></ul><ul><li>  Online course or workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Web searches, email, conferencing, </li></ul><ul><li>Writing, blogging & digital media </li></ul><ul><li>assistive technologies, e.g. e-text readers </li></ul>
  28. 29. Problems with uptake <ul><li>No strong following among providers </li></ul><ul><li>Technology as a “moving target” </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Few studies on efficacy </li></ul><ul><li>Trainers use technology personally but not for teaching </li></ul><ul><li>BUT accessibility in a cloud encourages localization and sharing across the wider community </li></ul>
  29. 30. What is the current use of IT to support Adult Literacy? <ul><li>Basic patterns: </li></ul><ul><li>CBTs on DVD or via web-sites. </li></ul><ul><li>  Online course or workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Web searches, email, conferencing, </li></ul><ul><li>Writing, blogging & digital media </li></ul><ul><li>assistive technologies, e.g. e-text readers </li></ul>
  30. 31. Problems with uptake of the Cloud <ul><li>No strong following among providers </li></ul><ul><li>Technology as a “moving target” </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Few studies on efficacy </li></ul><ul><li>Trainers use technology personally but not for teaching </li></ul><ul><li>BUT accessibility in a cloud encourages localization and sharing across the wider community </li></ul>
  31. 32. Problems with uptake of the Cloud <ul><li>Strangulation by big companies </li></ul><ul><li>Predatory pricing </li></ul><ul><li>UBB (Usage Based Billing) </li></ul><ul><li>Throttling </li></ul>
  32. 33. What might a cloud computing strategy for Adult Literacy look like? <ul><li>What are the challenges to realize such a vision? </li></ul>THEN : email & collaboration software Now : variety of on-demand services that require tremendous processing power for short instances
  33. 34. The Cloud for Adult Literacy <ul><li>1 . Provision of personal computing </li></ul><ul><li>2. Shared Community Resources </li></ul><ul><li>  3. Persistent personal storage - augmenting cognition </li></ul><ul><li>4. Analytics and personalization </li></ul><ul><li>5. Policy issues </li></ul><ul><li>6. Beyond text - Is literacy obsolete? </li></ul>
  34. 35.   Conclusion: Impact of Cloud Computing <ul><li>1. Utility </li></ul><ul><li>use of free services </li></ul><ul><li>Elastic: power on demand </li></ul><ul><li>OER </li></ul><ul><li>Web services: text to speech; translation etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile learning </li></ul>21 st learning is not possible without the skills for accessing and using the Internet
  35. 36.   The Cloud: Questions <ul><li>Rory McGreal </li></ul><ul><li>rory@athabascau.ca </li></ul>Thank You Merci

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