Cloud Project Announced

Are you ready for the cloud? A new cloud computing pilot means that schools will have enhanced teaching and learning opportunities, and better options for collaboration and cost saving.

Up to 100 schools across the country will be part of a cloud computing pilot, in a new initiative announced by the Ministry of Education.

In addition Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL), schools and kura will also be provided with a range of resources to help school leaders make a move to the cloud themselves.

The drive to move to the cloud follows up a successful four-month trial with six schools in Westport and Wanaka, where the Ministry worked in partnership with Microsoft NZ to move the students and teachers to the new environment.

Using the cloud means that schools will have enhanced teaching and learning opportunities, better options for collaboration, increased security and privacy, and the opportunity for significant cost savings.

Many New Zealand schools are using the cloud daily, when they use Gmail, Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, and other services. Some schools have moved to the cloud entirely, but the majority are using a hybrid model, where they use some cloud services, but also retain some servers on their school property.

In order to realise the benefits of the cloud, which include 24-hour access to your data and applications, improved privacy and security of data, increased opportunities for collaboration, and potentially significant cost savings for the school, schools should move to a ‘full cloud’ model where possible.

The initial trial has found that schools who use only cloud services are set to make significant cost savings over those who are using on-site server infrastructure. In a number of cases, schools who were using the cloud instead of investing in new servers were saving over 50% of the cost.

Cloud services will also enable new collaboration options for schools, kura and CoLs.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?If your school or kura is due to purchase new servers, now is the time to consider moving to the cloud. Most of our schools are using elements of the cloud every day, but very few have made the full transition – we want to get our schools, kura and Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako to make that change, and move to afaster, smarter way of working.

Moving to the cloud will provide a more flexible, productive environment for our children, young people, and the teachers who are supporting them.

The Ministry, and its independent technology advisory service, the Connected Learning Advisory, are producing a range of resources to help schools and kura understand the options available to them.

In addition you can register your interest to be part of the pilot here.