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Cloud in education is the next step forward

ARMONK, N.Y. – 02 Jun 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new cloud services to deliver advanced software, computer lab resources and services to students and researchers at schools, colleges and universities, without the need for advanced IT expertise at those locations.

The IBM SmartCloud for Education is a set of cloud services and offerings designed to help education systems leverage predictive analytics to get real-time insights on student and institutional performance, enhance researcher effectiveness, and alleviate constrained lab resources for learning.

By using the IBM SmartCloud for Education services, K-12 schools and higher education institutions can address significant challenges they face:  student retention, graduation rates, grant funding, and demands for IT resources for learning and research.  Schools can analyze their own data using new SPSS models and tools running in a cloud to identify at-risk students at an early stage.  Additional cloud-based social networking tools help discover and recommend funding opportunities and collaborators to researchers.  Students and educators can also benefit from self-service reservation of and seamless access to virtual computer resources both on campus and on the IBM public cloud.

This sounds interesting from both a technical and educational standpoint, could it mean a move to further the opportunities for learning and interaction between students and course or content providers, could we see more rich experiences and more real time content, covering more elements or concepts. For the maths students could this mean access to hpc platforms that might not previously have been available to the mainstream? We’ll have to see, I’m off to read up more about it.

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