As a number of my recent posts attest, I’m finally spending some time trying to wrap my head around what the computing cloud might mean in terms of edtech infrastructure. A couple of things have converged to make this seem like the next logical step for DTLT. First Tim Owens, whose been experimenting with it on and off for years (that’s how the early DTLT Today episodes were streamed), demonstrated earlier this semster how invaluable it could be for enabling faculty to experiment with a variety of applications with little overhead in terms of server infrastructure. Additionally, UMW’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT) has also been hearing from faculty interested in particular application environments with unique dependencies.* The time is ripe for a pilot.
After the meeting we had on Friday, it looks like DTLT and DoIT will be sharing an Amazon Web Services test account to play with this environment more intensely over the summer. What’s more, during that meeting Jeff McCLurken pointed us to an Amazon Web Services symposium for Government, Education, and Non-Profits that will be taking place just up the road in D.C. next month from June 24 – June 26. I’m already registered, and I’m pretty excited to start digging more deeply into what this space might mean for higher ed. Although as soon as I wrote that last sentence I’m immediately reminded to temper my enthusiasm about jumping onboard with one of the tech robber barons of the late 20th, early 21st century. Just call it a pilot, and damn the torpedoes! 🙂
*Interestingly enough, a third factor was The Internet Course I taught with Paul Bond this semester. The student group that presented on that topic fascinated me with the vision of cloud as utility—it was finally an analogy that made sense for me.