As broadband connectivity becomes increasingly available at home, at school, and in many places in between, a paradigm shift in how users access key software applications is slowly taking place.

For years, educators and students largely used software that was installed on desktop computers or ran off floppy disks or CDs from local drives. Then came high-speed school networks and the ability to run software from a central school or district server. Now, many students and teachers are using web-based software programs that are accessible over the internet and hosted by the application provider.

To be sure, this isn't a new model...

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