by: Kenneth Cossin
Today’s world continues to grow smaller and faster at an ever-increasing rate. At Full Sail University, I am learning, as an educator and blogger, the importance of staying up-to-date on new information, including the cloud computing world. “The Cloud,” as we call it is simply a virtual community of sharing information and data by putting it on third-party servers for use by others. The purpose behind cloud computing is sharing your knowledge and expertise via the Internet and even moving your infrastructure or applications online.
As an educator, I see the advantage of this movement for our students. They can access information and applications in the cloud thereby creating a collaborative and cooperative environment. In the cloud, students can add and share information and access content more freely. In addition, they can use online applications in a communal fashion.
As a counterpoint to the advantages, the cloud creates an environment where students’ work can be much more easily copied. The potential for copyright infringement is high in many instances. In addition, educational institutions would be turning control of software applications and data over to third parties. They may even be at risk for losing their brand identity.
These pitfalls are not limited to students and universities. Individuals using cloud computing tools can inadvertently release their personal and sensitive information. Thus, at what point do we, as consumers, wish to draw the line on relinquishing control?
As a blogger, I love the concept of cloud computing. It means that my thoughts, ideas, and knowledge will be shared with the globe thereby helping other people that may not be as fortunate as me. For example, someone that may read research or information that I am acquiring can be used by individuals that live in depressed regions of the globe. Therefore, I can potentially enrich the life of someone I do not personally know almost anywhere.
Personally, in weighing the options, cloud computing has much potential for the future success of our world. As long as we remain cognizant of the dangers, we as individuals, educators, and mentors can positively impact the lives of others and leave a legacy of good from our lives for future generations.
I think the benefits of cloud computing far outweigh the cons. The biggest of which I see as loss of data. What do I do if the data center is attacked and my data is gone? Hopefully the companies that go into the business of providing the cloud of enough sense to backup the backups.
On the pro side the Mobileme platform is an excellent example of cloud based storage solutions. The permissions are simple, it’s private unless I put it into the public folder. I think Google’s cloud services could use a little interface tweaking to establish that same mentality of security by default.