Why the cloud's important for education: saving $199,995 on one test

Ewan McIntosh, edu.blogs.com, Apr 04, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I definitely get this. My web server is hosted in the cloud. If I had a radio or video server, it would be hosted in the cloud. Why? Because it costs me a tenth as much as trying to do it at home, and the servers are more reliable. The same thing works for online exam servers. "DET estimated for them to host an online test for 65,000 students simultaneously would require a A$200,000 investment in server infrastructure... Paying A$40 per hour for 300 Microsoft Azure Servers, DET estimated the cost of hosting the online exam for one day was just A$500." See also, A Berkeley view of Cloud Computing.

Related, and significant: "Ahead of their province wide conference on Privacy and Cloud-Based Educational Technology happening on April 4th, BCcampus has released a background white paper on Privacy and Cloud-Based Educational Technology in British Columbia (PDF)." Via Ray Tolley. In this white paper, Victoria Klassen outlines the benefits and cost savings of cloud computing, then examines the privacy implications.
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