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Schools moving to the cloud

Network for Learning, N4L, says ‘moving to the cloud’ is on the to-do list for many New Zealand schools.

It makes sense. Schools often don’t have the skills or resources to manage servers and other computer infrastructure. Moving to the cloud leaves teachers free to concentrate on doing what they do best: teaching.

Here’s the first of a series of posts written for the N4L blog that aim to demystify the cloudand how to make use of it. It’s written for a non-technical audience.

“Cloud computing is using remote computers for jobs that were once done by local machines.

We call it cloud because the computers are somewhere else on the internet. Most of the time you don’t need to know where they are.

When the idea was first developed, people would draw diagrams to illustrate how it worked. They used pictures of clouds to show the remote computers could be anywhere. The image and the metaphor stuck.”

Cloud means network computers

Cloud replaces servers. These were, in some cases still are, the computers that organise network traffic, store data and parcel out work to devices like printers. It may help to think of them as hubs.

Because servers are computers, they can also run applications. This lightens the load on desktop or laptop computers. Today, cloud servers handle so much everyday computer processing that you can often get away with less powerful hardware on your desktop or in your hand. This explains the rising popularity of less expensive devices like Chromebook or tablets. They leave cloud computers to do their heavy lifting.

Read more at The Cloud on the N4L website.