Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Why you should be checking out free online courses on cloud computing?




What is cloud computing?
·         If you use an online service to send email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games, or store pictures and other files, it’s likely that cloud computing is making it all possible behind the scenes. Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and more—over the Internet (“the cloud”). Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers. They typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage, similar to how you’re billed for water or electricity at home.
·         Below are a few  things you can do with the cloud:
o   Create new apps and services;
o   Store, backup, and recover data;
o   Host websites and blogs;
o   Stream audio and video;
o   Deliver software on demand;
o   Analyze data for patterns and make predictions.
·         Top benefits of cloud computing include:
o   1) lower cost –  as it is cheaper and more convenient to pay monthly electricity bills than making your own electricity,
o   2) greater speed,
o   3) global scale – system is flexible and can deliver the right amount of computing power needed,
o   4)  high productivity,
o   5) high performance, and 
o   6) reliability – robust data backup.

HOW THE CLOUD HAS CHANGED THE CLASSROOM:
·         With cloud computing, collaboration between students and teacher can happen from anywhere from any device - tablet, laptop, or phone;
·         Teachers are no longer going home with a bag-full of papers to mark;
·         Via the cloud, and with no need for USB flash drives, students can easily share their essays with their peers and teachers. The peers and teachers may then provide comments so the students may  make the necessary changes;
·         Teachers are more fluent in their curriculum design. E.g., a teacher might see a great example from first period, snap a picture of it and upload it into his/her presentation for  the second period's benefit. 
·         Students can create their own TED Talk and upload it onto the cloud where the teacher can access and assess it;
·         Students who were sick or unable to attend class don’t miss out because they have immediate access to what was done that day. The cloud keeps them up to speed with their classmates;
·         Parents can see grades, check to ensure that all assigned homework has been completed, and nudge their child along if a piece is missing; and
·         Educators outside of urban and private school environments have equal access to world-class, global educational sites and teaching environments.

HOW THE CLOUD WILL CHANGE OTHER ASPECTS OF OUR LIVES
Joe Mullich, came up with 16 major ways in which the Cloud will change our lives after interviewing numerous experts in the various fields of cloud computing. Nine of them are as follows:

1)      Everyone will become a gamer:
Gaming is called the “killer app” of cloud computing, and the same gaming principles are now being extended to many other areas. E.g., the new generation of wellness and chronic disease management programs use gaming techniques to educate and coach patients in real time.

2)      Repairing objects will be easier:
You can expect to get earlier notification when things around your house or office are about to go on the fritz. E.g., a cloud-based app alerts drivers of electric cars when their batteries will run out of juice.

3)      Computers will become invisible:
You will be able to walk into a room where there may be hundreds of sensors that could respond to your gestures and movements.

4)      You’ll be able to make smarter decisions:
The cloud can turn any mobile device into a “supercomputer” meaning you can access processing power as needed from the cloud to analyze virtually any type of information wherever you are.

5)      Laptop security breaches will decline:
The cloud can eliminate concerns of security breaches by having all data securely stored on the Internet. The laptop no longer stores the data; rather, it simply becomes the instrument by which to access it.

6)      Public/private clouds will make homes healthier:
E.g., the cloud allows doctors to wirelessly monitor patients with sleep apnea, collect information and then tap into a network of experts to devise a treatment plan.

7)      Developing countries will become new markets and new competitors:
Developing countries can embrace the cloud quicker and exploit new opportunities faster, since they won’t be as delayed by tasks like integrating legacy technology.  The cloud will also provide new opportunities in these emerging countries as mobile devices will become the outlet to open up huge new markets.

8)      Everyone will bootstrap:
The cloud offers individuals exciting ways to collaborate, develop products and test ideas rapidly and cheaply, which could accelerate the rising rate of entrepreneurialism. “You see small startups using the cloud to do complex modeling of new product offers,” Hagel says. “The speed at which you can identify what people are interested in, and what they will pay, really changes the nature of innovation.”

9)      Language barriers will fade: 
Today, cloud computing already gives mobile-device users a level of speech recognition accuracy that is virtually on par with call center-based transcription services.  In the future, your mobile device will enable you to communicate with someone who speaks a different language. The words that are exchanged  are instantly translated into each other’s languages using voice recognition and translation software.

INVESTMENT & CONCLUSION
·         Major cloud technology companies invest billions of dollars per year in cloud Research and Development. For example, in 2011 Microsoft committed 90 percent of its $9.6 billion R&D budget to its cloud.  Research by investment bank Centaur Partners in late 2015 forecasted that SaaS (cloud computing) revenue would grow from $13.5 billion in 2011 to $32.8 billion in 2016.
·         Cloud computing has come of age.  The business and commercial opportunities are enormous and many companies are already enjoying significant business benefits.

FREE ONLINE COURSES ON CLOUD COMPUTING
The number and quality of free online cloud computing courses have continued to grow.  You can find some of them via the links below:

ALISON: https://alison.com > Courses > Digital Literacy & IT Skills

Cloud Academy Library: https://cloudacademy.com/courses/







REFERENCES:

WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING?

HOW THE CLOUD HAS CHANGED THE CLASSROOM:

HOW THE CLOUD WILL CHANGE OTHER ASPECTS OF OUR LIVES

INVESTMENT & CONCLUSION

FREE ONLINE COURSES ON CLOUD COMPUTING





Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi 

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