Cloud Computing in Education
The increased use of public cloud computing for business, government, and education now seems inevitable. Primarily due to lower cost and greater ease of access and use, wikis, social learning sites, and free or low-cost hosted services on such sites as Facebook or Google are now competing with traditional proprietary course management systems such as Blackboard and Angel. Of particular concern is the merging of social media and virtual learning environments and the personally identifiable data that are stored on off-site computers. Internal abuse (misuse or sale of personal user data by vendors) and insufficient protection against hacking and identity theft are additional concerns because of the large amounts of personally identifiable information (PII) that cloud vendors are storing. Also, loss of management control or intellectual property rights over materials uploaded to “free” cloud services is a potential barrier for creators of learning objects. This chapter, designed for educational administrators and educators in the e-learning community, looks at the pros and cons of the use of current cloud services in education, with a focus on privacy and security issues. The United States context will be studied specifically because its exported cloud services exert an international impact. The primarily self-regulatory approach to Internet privacy in the USA means that international educational users of cloud services must carefully examine terms of service (ToS) agreements to insure that their national data protection laws are not being violated. The chapter concludes with suggestions for safe and sensible use of cloud computing in education.
KeywordsCloud Computing Cloud Service Privacy Protection Cloud Provider Cloud Service Provider
This research has been supported by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development in Doha, State of Qatar. The researcher has no financial interest in commercial products or services related to this research. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of Qatar National Research Fund.
- Chine, K. (2010). Learning math and statistics on the cloud: Towards an EC2-based Google docs-like portal for teaching/learning collaboratively with R and Scilab. In 10th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (pp. 752–753). doi:10.1109/ICALT.2010.120.Google Scholar
- Cloud Security Alliance. (2010). Top threats to cloud computing V1.0. Retrieved from https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/topthreats/csathreats.v1.0.pdf.
- Commission of the European Communities (CEC). (2002). The application of commission decision 520/2000/EC of 26 July 2000 pursuant to directive 95/46 of the European parliament and of the council on the adequate protection of personal data provided by the safe harbor privacy principles. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/justice/policies/privacy/thridcountries/index_en.htm.
- Connolly, C. (2008). The US safe harbor – Fact or fiction? Retrieved from http://www.galexia.com/public/research/articles/research_articles-pa08.html.
- Daily Mail Reporter. (2011, August 6). Scientists warn face recognition searches pose ‘ominous’ privacy risk. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news.
- Dedrick, J. (2010). Green IS: concepts and issues for information systems research. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 27(11), 173–184.Google Scholar
- Doelitzscher, F., Sulistio, A., Reich, C., Kuijs, H., & Wolf, D. (2011). Private cloud for collaboration and e-Learning services: from IaaS to SaaS. Computing–Cloud Computing, 91(1), 1–20. doi:10.1007/s00607-010-0106-z.Google Scholar
- Dong, B., Zheng, Q., Yang, J., Li, H., & Qiao, M. (2009). An e-learning ecosystem based on cloud computing infrastructure. In Ninth IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, 2009 (pp. 125–127). Los Alamitos: IEEE Computer Society.Google Scholar
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (2010). No criminal charges filed following Lower Marion School District student computer monitoring investigation. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/philadelphia/press-releases/2010/ph081710.htm.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC). (2011). Proposed rule; request for comment: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. Federal Register, 76(187), 59804–59833.Google Scholar
- Gellman, R. (2009). Privacy in the clouds: risks to privacy and confidentiality in cloud computing. Retrieved from http://www.worldprivacyforum.org/pdf/WPF_Cloud_Privacy_Report.pdf.
- Goldstein, P.J. (2009). Alternative IT sourcing strategies: From the campus to the cloud. Washington, DC: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research. Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EKF/EKF0905.pdf.
- Heater, B. (2008, November 20). Google will shut down ‘Lively’ virtual world. PCMag. Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2335081,00.asp.
- Itani, W., Kayssi, A., & Chehab, A. (2009). Privacy as a service: Privacy-aware data storage and processing in cloud computing architectures. In 2009 Eighth International Conference on Dependable, Automatic and Secure Computing, (pp. 711–16).Google Scholar
- Johnson, B. (2008, September 29). Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/sep/29/cloud.computing.richard.stallman.
- Katzan, K., Jr. (2010). On the privacy of cloud computing. International Journal of Management & Information Systems, 14(2), 1–12.Google Scholar
- Ko, R.K.L., Jagadpramana, P., Mowbray, M., Pearson, S., Kirchberg, M., Liang, Q., Sung B.L. (2011). TrustCloud: A framework for accountability and trust in cloud computing. In 2011 IEEE World Congress on Services (pp. 584–588). Los Alamitos: IEEE Computer Society. doi:10.1109/SERVICES.2011.91.Google Scholar
- Krautheim, F.J. (2010). Building trust into utility cloud computing. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD.Google Scholar
- Leavitt, N. (2009). Is cloud computing really ready for prime time? Leavitt Communications. Retrieved from http://www.leavcom.com/ieee_jan09.htm.
- Mell, P., & Grance, T. (2009). Effectively and securely using the cloud computing paradigm. Gaithersburg, MD: NIST.Google Scholar
- Microsoft, Inc. (2010). Cloud computing and sustainability: The environmental benefits of moving to the cloud. Retrieved from http://www.microsoft.com/click/services/Redirect2.ashx?CR_EAC=300012377.
- National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). (2010). Commercial data privacy and innovation in the internet economy: A dynamic policy framework internet policy task force green paper. Washington, DC: NTIA.Google Scholar
- Pearson, S. (2009). Taking account of privacy when designing cloud services. Bristol, UK: HP Labs.Google Scholar
- Pearson, S. (2011). Towards accountability in the cloud. Bristol, UK: HP Labs.Google Scholar
- Pocatilu, P., Alecu, F. & Vetrici, M. (2009). Using cloud computing for e-learning systems. In Recent Advances on Data Networks, Communications, Computers, Proceedings of the 8th WSEAS, Stevens Point, WI (pp. 54–59).Google Scholar
- Poulymenopoulou, M., Malamateniou, F. & Vassilacopoulos, G. (2011). An access control framework for pervasive mobile healthcare systems utilizing cloud services. In Nikita, K.S., Lin, J.C., Fotiadis, D.I., & Waldmeyer, M-T.A. (Eds.), Wireless mobile communication and healthcare: Second international ICST conference, MobiHealth 2011. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
- Rajam, S., Cortez, R., Vazhenin, A., & Bhalla, S. (2010). E-Learning computational cloud (eLC2): Web services platform to enhance task collaboration. In 2010 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology (pp. 350–355). Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society.Google Scholar
- Razak, S.F.A. (2009). Cloud computing in Malaysia universities. In Conference on Innovative Technologies in Intelligent Systems and Industrial Applications, Malaysia, 25–26 July 2009 (pp. 101–106). Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society.Google Scholar
- Robbins v. Lower Merion School District. (2010, February 11). U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
- Robinson, W. J. (2010). Free at what cost? Cloud computing privacy under the stored communications act. Georgetown Law Journal, 98, 1195–1239.Google Scholar
- Santos, N., Gummadi, K.P., Rodrigues, R. (2009). Towards trusted cloud computing. In Proceedings of HotCloud 09, San Diego, CA, 15 June 2009 (pp. 1–5). San Diego, CA: USENIX.Google Scholar
- Sweeney, L. (2000). Uniqueness of simple demographics in the U.S. population. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University, Laboratory for International Data Privacy.Google Scholar
- The White House. (2012). Consumer data privacy in a networked world: A framework for protecting privacy and promoting innovation in the global digital economy. Washington, DC: The White House.Google Scholar
- United States Federal Budget. (2010). Washington, D.C.: United States Government.Google Scholar
- Weber, A.S. (2010). The development and current status of web-based learning in Qatar and the GCC states. Occasional Paper 5. Doha: Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar.Google Scholar
- Weber, A.S. (2011). Cultural dimensions of e-learning in Islamic countries. In Proceedings of INTED2011. Valencia: IATED.Google Scholar
- Wheeler, B., & Waggener, S. (2009). Above-campus services: Shaping the promise of cloud computing for higher education. EDUCAUSE Review, 44(6), 1–16.Google Scholar