The charter of the IBM Cloud Academy will be to define a vision for cloud computing, share ideas and technology and drive innovation in cloud computing to benefit how education is delivered and consumed around the world. It's very cool that the forum the group will use to collaborate is an IBM cloud offering. IBM's LotusLive service provides the basis for the new offering and participants will immediately be able to do some very basic tactical functions on the new system:
- Create working groups on areas of interest to the education industry
- "Jam" on new innovations for clouds in education-related areas with IBM developers
- Work jointly on technical projects across institutions
- Share research findings and exchange new research ideas
An excellent example of how cloud computing is of value in education is illustrated in Pike County Schools System in Eastern Kentucky. They have 10,000 students in 27 schools and 3,000 employees. Like many organizations today, their budget is decreasing while the need for increased access to technology is rising.
"Providing cost-effective technology solutions is an ongoing challenge for today's K-12 schools," said Maritta Horne, Chief Information Officer of Pike County School District in Eastern Kentucky. "With IBM Smart Business Virtual Desktop, more than 10,000 students in Pike County are able to easily and quickly access new courseware through private cloud desktops, and the school system is saving on expenses related to hardware updates, technology support staff and power usage."
As a result, Pike County has achieved a reduction of over 62 percent of end-user support costs while providing equal access to education content across 27 schools and just over 2,000 desktops. The introduction of new courseware – what used to take over a year – can now be implemented instantly across all schools.
As illustrated in Pike County cloud computing has many benefits for academia. These are some of highlights that will be provided through the IBM Cloud Academy program:
- Universities can open their technology infrastructures to businesses and industries for research advancements.
- The efficiencies of cloud computing can help universities keep pace with ever-growing resource requirements and energy costs.
- The extended reach of cloud computing can enable institutions to teach students in new, different ways.
Read more about Education for a Smarter Planet and the IBM Cloud Academy.