New initiative targets 10,000 underserved students for in-demand cloud computing careers

The National Education Equity Lab (Ed Equity Lab) has launched a new initiative with Amazon Web Services (AWS) designed to prepare more than 10,000 students in underserved high schools across the nation for careers in cloud computing by 2025.

As part of Amazon’s ongoing commitment to help 29 million people worldwide increase their technical skills by 2025, the new collaboration, launching this fall, will enable students in low-income school districts to access AWS cloud computing educational content and resources offered by Arizona State University (ASU) at no cost to students.

“Students from underserved school districts and communities face challenges that prevent them from pursuing and succeeding in some of the country’s fastest-growing technical careers,” said Wil Zemp, Director of Education to Workforce at AWS. “It will take intentional, proactive effort by employers, education leaders, and the tech industry to remove those barriers and build more equitable pathways to economic mobility.”…Read More

How cloud adoption is changing public school education

As the past year has shown, cloud computing has proved a vital service for K – 12 public schools. It’s enabled online learning during a time of critical need, and the schools who have embraced cloud adoption have thrived and will continue to do so.

Cost efficiencies are a big driver of cloud adoption. For schools grappling with budget cuts, the cloud offers a cost-effective way to educate students and streamline operations. Cloud solutions are also easier to deploy and integrate than traditional IT infrastructure. This allows schools to reallocate their limited budgets toward teaching and improving student outcomes. Schools who choose to keep their operations on-premises may miss out on these benefits.

Let’s look at the ways the cloud is changing public school education today–and some of the common bumps administrators and IT teams should avoid along the way.…Read More

Benefits & advice for transitioning edtech to the cloud

At the beginning of the edtech wave, superintendents saw many benefits from using digital resources in the classroom. But, they also saw a large number of resources being recommitted to just this one aspect of education: space for server farms, money for hardware and software upgrades, overworked personnel, etc. District IT offices were taking on the same tasks as Fortune 500 companies without the ability to implement them as effectively.

For administrators looking to take the focus of edtech away from upkeep and back to learning, moving to the cloud could be the answer. Presenters of the edWebinar, “Cloud Computing: Taking Advantage of the Latest Technologies,” which is part of the Empowered Superintendents edWebinar series, shared their reasons for switching to the cloud, how it has helped their schools, and their advice when making the transition.

While the presenters named several reasons they chose to move to the cloud, their top reason was equitable access to edtech. First, all programs are accessible to all students and teachers. Before, for instance, it was possible that each third grade classroom would have a science app of varying quality. With the cloud, teachers select the most effective program, and it’s available to all. In addition, students don’t need specific devices or operating systems to use the digital resources. If they can get to the web, they can do homework, see teacher comments, and do anything else they might in the classroom. Other reasons for migrating to the cloud include potential cost-savings, the simplicity of having all resources in one place, and increased reliability and decreased outages.…Read More

IT leaders, admins still fear network attacks

Balancing access to educational resources with security needs remains a top challenge for school district IT leaders, according to new findings from the Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning.

Seventy-one percent of district administrators and IT leaders are concerned about the security of their network against malicious attacks or misbehavior, as outlined in the data, which comes from a collaboration between the nonprofit Project Tomorrow and cloud security provider iboss.

The top concern with cloud applications among technology leaders is ensuring data privacy (58 percent).…Read More

5 major cloud considerations for education

It’s no secret that being able to access enterprise applications and other types of software online—in a 24/7/365 environment—beats having to install, maintain, and upgrade individual applications across multiple desktops and laptops. Especially when maintaining software at school, classroom, teacher, and individual student levels is such an arduous task.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or “cloud computing” has helped districts and schools streamline their applications while at the same time introducing new challenges to the mix—such as online privacy and security concerns. These and other obstacles aside, cloud computing has been growing in popularity lately due to its low entry costs, short installation/implementation times, and the fact that it lessens the burden on schools’ IT teams when it comes to software maintenance and upgrades.

Formally defined as a software licensing and delivery model where applications are licensed on a subscription basis and centrally hosted, SaaS is often used interchangeably with “cloud” or “on-demand” and usually accessed via a web browser and password (if applicable). Here are five ways this software deployment method is changing the K-12 environment right now:…Read More

NetSupport’s keyword monitoring now supports multiple languages

In an effort to help districts cope with an ever-growing student population speaking languages other than English, NetSupport is adding multiple languages to its keyword monitoring software, which lets schools keep an eye on student communications by automatically flagging certain phrases or words.

According to the company, the addition will enable staff in schools with a diverse ethnic mix of students to be able to monitor community languages other than English for safeguarding purposes.

In 2014, a record of 63.5 million U.S. residents (22 percent of which aged between 5-17 years old) spoke a language other than English at home — doubling from 1990, and expected to increase to 40 percent by 2030, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.…Read More

Archive360 introduces regulatory compliance storage solution based on the Microsoft Azure platform

New Archive2Azure simplifies long-term unstructured data retention for regulatory compliance and litigation preparedness

Archive360TM, a provider of email archive migration software, announced Archive2Azure, the industry’s first regulatory compliance storage solution optimized for the Microsoft Azure platform at ISTE 2016.

With infinite scalability, the new product delivers long-term, secure retention of unstructured data including journal email for regulatory compliance and litigation preparedness, file system work files, individual PSTs, system generated reports, and all the other unstructured data floating around the enterprise. This capability provides organizations a fast and seamless way to speed their move to the cloud by enabling the elimination of their costly on-premises unstructured data silos, including their cumbersome and expensive legacy archive systems.

The cloud has quickly become the preferred option for companies to help reverse the growing issues associated with ever-expanding on-premises legacy email archives for regulatory compliance and eDiscovery as well as the unstructured file system storage. In fact, according to Osterman Research, migration of content from existing email archives and migration of content from PSTs were tied as the top capabilities needed to support migration to Microsoft Office 365TM.…Read More

5 ways cloud computing will impact students, teachers, and IT in 2016

Software-as-a-service deployments are having a moment. What does that mean for schools?

It’s no secret that being able to access enterprise applications and other types of software online—in a 24/7/365 environment—beats having to install, maintain, and upgrade individual applications across multiple desktops and laptops. Especially when maintaining software at school, classroom, teacher, and individual student levels is such an arduous task.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or “cloud computing” has helped districts and schools streamline their applications while at the same time introducing new challenges to the mix—such as online privacy and security concerns. These and other obstacles aside, cloud computing has been growing in popularity lately due to its low entry costs, short installation/implementation times, and the fact that it lessens the burden on schools’ IT teams when it comes to software maintenance and upgrades.

Formally defined as a software licensing and delivery model where applications are licensed on a subscription basis and centrally hosted, SaaS is often used interchangeably with “cloud” or “on-demand” and usually accessed via a web browser and password (if applicable). Here are five ways this software deployment method is changing the K-12 environment right now:…Read More