Intel (2010) Cloud Computing for School IT and 21st Century eLearning. Intel http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/cloud-computing/cloud-computing-education-21st-century-e-learning-study.html (accessed 23-08-2012)
There are two basic types of cloud infrastructures: internal and external. In an internal cloud, servers, software resources, and IT expertise are used inside the school system to build a scalable infrastructure that meets cloud computing requirements. In an external cloud, service providers sell on-demand, shared services to a school. IT support, services, and expertise are included in the package; the school needs to run only the provided applications and services.
What does this mean?
Servers can provide some or all software applications, operating systems, and Internet access, rather than having these installed and maintained on each platform separately.
Cloud computing allows for cost- and energy-efficient centralization of school infrastructures. Remote management and maintenance can save time and increase security.
Teachers can select from the entire pool of available applications those which bestcomplement their curriculum and students at any given time.
Reasons to go with the cloud
1. Provides a flexible, scalable, cost effective model that does not tie schools to infrastructure or application investments
2. Offers the flexibility to meet rapidly changing software requirements
3. Allows software standardization, a shared pool of applications for use school- or district-wide, updated centrally
4. Enables rapid development and deployment of complex solutions without the need for in-house expertise
5. Can eliminate the upfront financial burden of deploying new technologies through a pay-as-you-go model
6. Supports multiple client platforms both inside and outside the school infrastructure