OASBO IMPAC: The Cloud meets K12 Learning

I was invited to speak, along with Todd Wright and  Bill MacKenzie, at the March 30th OASBO IMPAC committee meeting on the topic of cloud computing and K12 education. My task was to kick off the session with a cloud computing 101 session. Todd (YRDSB) and Bill (UGDSB) followed with their Board’s experiences with online office suites. Their conversation framed the benefits of using online office suites as key tools in writing and collaboration.  Using tools of this type need to have good back end functions to make them worth while for teachers: ease of login (active directory integration), class management tools, the ability for the board to manage both the accounts and content as needed. Built into the strategy are the advantages of learning in the real world with an authentic audience.  The need to teach, embrace and role model good online ethics and digital citizenship were also highlighted.

Part of our role today was to set the stage for the important discussion of privacy and information management as it related to online student learning:

  • legal requirements
  • informed consent
  • protection of personal data
  • teaching students best practice for operating in these environments
  • training staff about the types of data suitable for authoring and storing in the cloud
  • raising awareness
All in all today’s session was a great conversation, with good discussion and excellent questions being asked and explored.  Finding that balance between legal, practical and leveraging the strengths of these online authoring and collaboration tools will be the goal as the IMPAC group looks at guiding the creation of appropriate board policies and/or guidelines.

My slide deck and presentation audio file are available below for your reference.

Presentation Voice File

Other Resources:

Google Terms of Service for Education
How iCloud Works
Calgary DSB Web 2.0 Guidelines
UGDSB Cloud Video (youtube)
Google Security Video
IPC: Privacy in the Cloud
Learning in public online


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