Cloud learning is slowly but surely making its way over our heads and can be beneficial for everyone involved in education, be it the learner, the teacher or the administrator. Being a web-based solution, the cloud can be accessed from any device in any location (that has permission) and has unlimited storage so that all work and lessons can be saved to one central point.
Although the concept of the cloud is by no means new, users have found problems along the way, with the variety of devices in particular being a problem. SMART have teamed up with Google to eliminate this problem and their SMART Amp software allows devices running on any operating system including iOS or Android to all have the same access to the data shared within it. Promoted as the “glue” that connects any device, the software allows a seamless transition for data, as well as allowing collaboration within a lesson. Being designed specifically for an educational environment, the SMART Amp takes into account problems administrators may face such as teacher training on particular devices, instead allowing the teacher to use their own personal device of choice. The BYOD concept also allows children to connect their learning world with the “real world” and with collaboration already proving to increase learning, why stop now?
Both cost effective and simple to use, the software will launch in April this year, so keep an eye out on our blog for updates in the next couple of months. If you would like more information on cloud learning or SMARTs product line, feel free to contact us.
We all know how much technology has changed the way we teach and learn within the education sector but Professor Sugata Mitra has managed to take these ideas to a whole new level. Prof. Anant Agarwai has already set up one online school, known as ‘edX’, where one million students have already enrolled to access a variety of online courses. The content has been shared from around 27 partners at universities, creating a non-profit project that could help poorer countries, who are yet to have formal education, as well as here on home soil.
“Education has not changed in 500 years – we still herd children like cats into classrooms at 9am”, he explained. This model will involve an adult supervisor on the other side of the screen but a lot of it will involve the children having to organise themselves. Thanks to investments from the likes of MIT and Harvard universities, the Prof. Mitra hopes to open five online schools, three in India and two in the UK. The establishment will be a glass pod filled with computers and a large screen for the supervisor to be seen on and have some authority over the children.
When he did a similar project in 1999, Mitra dealt with an influx of interest and children were eager to play games but it eventually calmed down into a great learning tool. For areas where there are no teachers or good teachers available, the cloud school covers the problem whilst using support from some of the world’s top professors. Another part of the project involves “cloud grannies”. Retired people in the UK can connect via Skype to youth clubs over in India and offer activities such as reading a story and this is something that is thought to be incorporated into the schools.
Sugata Mitra at TEDGlobal
Prof. Sugata Mitra’s talk at the TEDGlobal conference about cloud schools can be found on Youtube.