Sunday, 17 July 2011

Huge interest in the Cloud Educator Programme

I have been completely overwhelmed by the interest in the Cloud Educator Programme. I was looking for 25 teachers, and from evidence from previous years, I wasn't very confident about being able to fill all the places.
On Friday evening I had received 49 applications!
Having tried out lots of different options, I've been able to fund an additional 7 places, taking us up to 32 Cloud Educators. This means that I will be running two groups rather than one, so I will need to confirm additional dates to all those selected.
It would be interesting to hear thoughts on why this has generated so much interest. I believe it is a whole range of reasons including huge interest in Google, money being offered to support at a time when there is not a lot around, schools realising the potential of working in the 'cloud' and being able to offer something that seems to have come at the right time!
I'd be really interested to hear anybody else's thoughts.

P.S. Another lesson learned - when I initially sent out the first couple of messages about the Programme on Twitter, I never thought to put Norfolk, UK. As a result, I've had to send an interesting reply to the lovely teacher who applied from Norfolk, Virginia, USA!!


  1. I think you’ve got it spot on as to the reason this programme has proved so popular. I think Google is a hugely powerful set of tools that appeals to schools in a number of ways. Firstly it is the basis for County email, so as a school we need to get on board with, not only just the email, but the wider set of tools Google offers. This is especially as the tools themselves are so effective. I think if there were any real problems with using GAFE then people would not be prepared to offer the time effort in order to work with them and develop their knowledge base. The opportunities for pupils is incredible, not only the ability to work collaboratively, but also to work on things outside school, something that can’t be done when pupils save their work on a school based server. The flexibility and breadth of what GAFE offers is also very important. As a school we have been able to set up a website and, for all practical purposes, a VLE using GAFE for free. And this final point is crucial. The fact that this is all free, and advertless means it could hardly be better suited to an education setting. Are we looking at a time when we don’t need to buy Microsoft Office licences? The training has come at just the right time, when I have seen the potential, for our school, both for pupils and staff, and now want the ability to harness this effectively.

  2. "It would be interesting to hear thoughts on why this has generated so much interest"

    Simple, the Heads PA circulated your email to all staff. I would have been interested a long time ago but have not heard NCC were running this initiative before now. I am interested to know how the whole Google+ thing develops. I want to use the tools in particular teaching situatione.

    Agree with some of what John says in terms of sustainable ICT but do not see it as a panacea, certainly not the replacement for the school tech department. Collaboration, working from home etc can be achieved in numerous ways and Microsoft have their own offerings - SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Live@edu etc, Remote Access to Applications etc.

    And I do not think that GAFE or any other system offer a free VLE or Website - as ever the cost comes in building the portals and ongoing support. There is also the minor matter of data security!

  3. My class were making websites in five minutes using sites. Google docs are easy to use and easy to embed in other websites. I hope there is a public button introduced for some of the work produced and a quick glance seems to suggest we may be able to add blogger to the apps available. A google wiki would be useful too.

    Google + presents us with further possibilities.

    Presumably it will not remain free. Did I see Spring 2012 somewhere and it will be interesting to see the pricing structure.

    But as with all these things we are still creating the content. I'm still not sure given we have a National Curriculum why there isn't a National Group of some kind creating some essential content. This could then be added to and adapted as needed. Hopefully the ease of use will allow the children to contribute their learning to make this universally useful.

    For me, it makes far more sense to be using widely available web 2.0 software rather than the previous primary VLE.

    But I still fight shy of having no control over the work that goes into this.