Cloud computing is one of those great buzzwords in IT that, so far, has meant very little to the average ed-tech customer … until now, reports ZDNet blogger Christopher Dawson. We all have a pretty good idea what it means: Dawson writes: lots of computers somewhere, doing lots of processing to deliver services to our desktops via the internet. On the other hand, with the maturation of virtualization technology, the idea of virtual desktops and virtual servers is certainly infiltrating education as schools try to cut energy costs, ease management, and consolidate resources. SIMTone Corp. has now brought these two ideas together and is piloting educational applications of virtual desktop PCs delivered to students via the cloud. Partnering with Frank Porter Graham Elementary School in Chapel Hill, N.C., SIMTone is using its cloud computing technologies to go beyond thin-client computing and deliver state-of-the-art educational content designed by the U.S. Fund for Unicef to pilot the idea of virtual computers in the cloud for students and staff. The so-called Education Thunder Program "aims to help close the digital divide and provide access to full PCs in the cloud to the estimated five billion people who cannot afford it, without requiring them to own a computer…"

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