Cloud Computing in Education

  • Alan S. Weber


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.


Cloud Computing Cloud Service Privacy Protection Cloud Provider Cloud Service Provider 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Weill Cornell Medical College in QatarDohaQatar

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