Cloud Computing | Feature

Diving Into the Cloud

One of the most misunderstood concepts in educational technology at the moment is cloud computing. In a two-part series, T.H.E. Journal offers an in-depth guide to help you decide if cloud-based services are right for your school district.

Is it any wonder that the forecast is calling for cloud? It’s a perfect storm out there, with powerful forces remaking the IT landscape in education. On one side, devastating budget cuts are pushing IT departments to identify ever-greater cost savings. On the other, the explosion in mobile devices is pressuring IT to provide anytime-anywhere computing with no downtime. And finally there’s data--a flood of never-ending data--that need to be stored and analyzed.

Implemented correctly, the cloud can help school districts tackle all of these issues. It promises to allow IT departments to support their institutions faster and more cheaply. But the term itself has become so abused that most people have no idea what "the cloud" means anymore. Right now, it’s more like a thick fog.

In this two-part series, T.H.E. Journal hopes to lift that fog and help IT administrators--and their constituents--understand the cloud, and what it can do to help districts ride out the storms buffeting their schools.

Table of Contents

Part I
Defining the Cloud
Know Your Clouds
Weathering the Thunderclouds

Part II
Making the Business Case for the Cloud
Look Before You Leap: Imperatives for Cloud Implementation
Build a Case for Cloud
Breaking Through the Cloud Cover: Virtualization and the Cloud Are NOT the Same Thing

About the Authors

Charlene O’Hanlon specializes in technology reporting and is based in the New York area.

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

David Raths is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer focused on information technology. He writes regularly for several IT publications, including Healthcare Innovation and Government Technology.

Rama Ramaswami is a business and technology writer based in New York City.