Tuesday, June 7, 2011

iCloud announced: How will it help educators?

     A few weeks ago I made a few predictions regarding iCloud and many of them turned out to be correct. Apple announced many exciting new services at the opening of WWDC, but I was most interested in learning about iCloud and how it could help educators in storing and sharing data. 

     The new service will allow users to send their content to the cloud automatically, including the ability to access all your downloaded or previously downloaded apps and download them again without extra charge. Our school will be trialing iPads in the classroom this fall and I had been concerned about how to best store and share content. 

     It appears that iCloud may be the solution to my concerns, enabling children to sync all of their iWork documents to the cloud and access it from multiple devices. Any photos and other content could easily be synced automatically to the teacher's Macbook wirelessly. Additionally, content will be backed up each day, ensuring that everything is protected. 

     The thing that I love about what I am hearing about the new service is that everything can be done without any extra effort. As Steve Jobs said on several occasions, "it just works". We don't need to know how, but just be happy that it can stored and shared easily without us even thinking about it. 

     The new service, which will be available in the fall with IOS5 and the new Lion OS, will largely be free and include the ability to stream your iTunes music in the cloud. Users who bought their music elsewhere will still be able to stream their music for $24.99 per year and the iTunes cloud service is available now in the US and Canada by updating your iTunes software to version 10.3.