You can no longer say "Cloud" is the next revolution in computing. Cloud is already here. At the University of Minnesota, many of our core tools are running in the Cloud. Gmail and other Google Apps are the obvious example. But really, any software running as "Software as a Service" ("SaaS") via a vendor can be considered "cloud". At Morris, the new Zimride ride-sharing system is a Cloud application. And more campus technology is moving to the Cloud.
Campus Technology highlights several of these Cloud classroom tools in Hiding in the Cloud: Great Classroom Tools by Jennifer Skelly.
Among the favorites:
- ShowMe is a free iPad app that facilitates whiteboard-style demonstrations. The topic can be shared in class or watched at home, and can also be published to the ShowMe Community site.
- SlideRocket allows educators and students to build and deliver presentations online, offline, and via mobile devices.
- SideVibe lets teachers build interactive lectures directly on top of existing web pages. Students can engage in online discussion, while teachers can collect and assess student work instantaneously.
- Screencast-O-Matic allows users to record video directly from their browser and embed it into a lecture or presentation. They simply draw a box around what they want to capture and click "start recording." Because it's cloud-based, there is no software installation necessary.
- With JetJaw, educators can perform real-time formative assessments: Students text a code from their mobile phones and can immediately participate in a survey or quiz. The results are instantaneously recorded and can even be displayed on-screen as they come in.
- iCyte is used to capture web pages and pdfs and save them directly to the cloud. The tool archives pages just as they looked when they were saved, even if the site itself is updated or removed.