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EduNET : Learning Cloud for Primary and High School Education using Tablet PC’s

EduNET : Learning Cloud for Primary and High School Education using Tablet PC’s
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    EduNET : Learning Cloud for Primary and High School Education using Tablet PC’s Alper Ozpinar*, Yigit Demirturk**,Kagan Kalinyazgan** *Istanbul Commerce University,   Kucukyali E5 Kavsagi, Inonu Cd. No:4, Kucukyali 34840- Istanbul Turkey*EduNET, Zühtü Tigrel Cad. İsmet Eker Sok. No:5 06450 Oran, Ankara Turke y Abstract:  New technological improvements and rapid development in smart devices occupied every instance of daily living. Business world using these systems since 80’s. However future users of th ese systems nowadays students continued to educated by the traditional methods. This paper explains the new frontiers of technological tools for primary and high school education in order to improve the staticeducation programs to support relevant strategies in order to scaffold education through organic processes. These organic processes will combine systems in order to make education a unique solution even a unique program and path for every student. To provide diversified educational content, combine different contents under a common frame and transfer them to students under teacher supervision through using effective technologies. This paper explains the term “Learning Cloud” which is an unlimited area in which all the data is kept viacloud computing architecture.Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service to a heterogeneous community of end-recipients. Thename comes from the use of clouds as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud computing entrusts services with a user's data, software and computation over a network. It has considerable overlap with software as a service,hardware as service, infrastructure as service or in other words x as a service. All these services combined for a unified educational solutionThe server structure and concept of the Learning Cloud is designed to support both the vertical and the horizontal enlargement of theeducation process. All the applications on the learning cloud system architecture are connected to an internationally safe and valid databasevia services.Students use intelligent tablets with mobile abilities to reach the cloud, so this paper explains a roadmap for choosing the optimum tablet with operating system requirements. After choosing the proper operating system hardware requirement analysis key issues defined and explained. Learning cloud concept includes major level subjects such as technology level, application level and academic level. Technological level includes telecommunication infrastructure, server topology, security, sustainability issues explained with implementation concerns in the paper with a best application practices. Application level based on four minor areas. And all these minor areas also have some sub levels. Minor areas are safety, sustainability,manageability and scalability areas. Each area has more sub levels should be analyzed and modeled for proper solutions. International standards are also another focus area for choosing and implementing the academic standards and interoperability issues. Since “Learning Cloud” concept based on sharing hardware and software resources based on the standards under the limitations of user rights. These limitations also controlled by proper policies defined on the cloud level. The paper also includes the best practices, results and  sample cases with statistics from a pilot school. Keywords: Cloud computing, tablets in education, organic education, learning cloud, mobile learning Introduction Certainly education is the most important part of the human evolution and may be crucial part of shaping the future of human beings. Within all those years of evolution everything around the human nature hasa rapid changing structure, form and complexity. As a result of these education process also should have a self-adapting structure in order to fit in the evolutions complexity and sustainability. There are common stages in theeducation according to source and the media of the knowledge in simple the evolution can be summarized asfrom weak signals to rich imaginaries of educational futures.(Gidley, 2012) After the invention wide use of the     printing press, the education become more global and shared process. Use of digital media, all kind of microprocessor handled electronic devices and the huge spanning of internet transforms the source and the shapeof knowledge in to a totally new form. Also the context and the aim of the education is also shaping into newforms and having new boundaries. A famous quote by Albert Einstein also remarked by once again by Gidley,explains the situation in a different way “the significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” so as the education needs a continuous sustainable development withhigher level of globalization.The role of education in development is also substantially changed by the process of globalization in asmuch as it is associated with the tendencies above. As it is generally argued, knowledge and skills become moreimportant for economic development as countries compete internationally in knowledge-based goods andservices. Education and skills become more important also as a means of attracting the foreign direct investmentwhich is one of the primary engines of development for many countries. (Little & Green, 2009) The success of the future nations shaped by the level of their success in the sustainable education. Since the whole structure of the economy transforming itself from human power oriented work to service, information and quality orientedstructure expectations of the new economic trends from the future employees will be totally different. There areseveral studies in the literature shown that differentiated and adaptive learning will be only key factor for obtaining the need of future economy.(Tulbure, 2011; Tseng, Chu, Hwang, & Tsai, 2008; Peredo, Canales,Menchaca, & Peredo, 2011; Beldagli & Adiguzel, 2010; Hsu & Ho, 2012)The idea of improving, enriching and supporting the education with the use of intelligent technologies especially the various mobile devices is a very hot topic in many countries. The keyword “Mobile electronicdevices” is used as a collective term for all mobile phones, laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablet PCs and data acquisition devices like GPS receivers.(Bleck, Bullinger, Lude, & Schaal, 2012) The idea behind theneed for mobility is same as the need for differentiated and personalized learning. Mobile devices best fit for  personalization. Common use devices supports personalization by the aspect of the intersection of commonneeds of education. However one fits all is not accepted idea in the future education. As a result differentiatedand adaptive education can be obtained by not only with the proper hardware also with the aid of intelligentsoftware applications.Mobility comes with lightweight devices, nowadays ultrabooks and tablets as mobile devices weightsless than 1 kg and have a battery life of 6-10 hours which is comparably enough for primary and high schooleducation. However mobility have a very common disadvantages namely weakness in speed, capacity, security,durability and data synchronization problem between mobile device to servers and desktops. As the technologyimproves there are various improvements for these disadvantages however solving nowadays problems does nothelp us to totally remove the ones that will raise in the future since the requirements will also changing. In the middle of 80’s MIDI is one the most well know file format for soun d files and music devices. However if you tryto sold midi players instead of mp3 players the profit will be distressing. People cannot imagine the mobile phones even the video calls from mobile devices however making the HD quality calls will be stay in part with4G staring from 2015. To overcome the inability of the mobile devices with the increasing speeds in internet communication the “Cloud Computing” concept takes the responsibility of solving the disadvantages of mobile devices. Providing the needs and adopting the solutions by means of various services is the main idea behind the    cloud computing.Cloud computing as mentioned above provides the solutions as services. The major idea behind the cloud isits big enough to satisfy all you requirements bu t affordable as you pay without making an investment just “Payas you use” motto. There are several definitions, types of services and payment models can be found in the literature. (Barrie Sosinsky, 2011; Sultan, 2010; Paul & Ghose, 2012; Peter Mell & Timothy Grance, 2011) Adopting the Cloud in Education Using the cloud services in education is not a highly creative idea. The needs of education like the flexibility,sustainability, rapidly changing environment and requirements are the major benefits of cloud computing.Schools are highly distributed among the different locations of the civilizations. So the sharing of physicalresources among the schools under the control and support of some authority like Ministry or Department of Education depending on the country policies. Making the same investment by means of IT infrastructure likefirewalls, file servers, backup units moreover the 7/24 IT support by different levels of IT knowledge is notfeasible. However the information that a school will track and store is vital, loosing any part of the educational background of a student unacceptable if you transfer the educational process to paperwork to digital media.Since the adaptive and differentiated learning makes every student unique, their information date will also be unique and can’t be replaced or restored from a similar student.   Ideal Approach and Pilot : Learning Cloud For Education Using Tablets An ideal approach for should include the following steps as shown in the figure planning, preparation andimplementation steps. One of the common and vital mistake that has been made by many decision makers is to start with “Choosing the Tablet” stage. Since the hardware cost especially the cost of the tablets for every student is more than the 75% of the project budget in common sense starting with the tablet selection looks wisehowever the reality is on the contrary and result in the failure of the project. The results and best practices have been test in e pilot school in Ankara with 1000 students using tablets. In Figure 1 an ideal Roadmap for the project has been shown. The other details and focus areas can be stated as follows; Hardware Requirements Most appropriate hardware for the combining the mobile devices and the education is the tablets. Lighter thanany ultra-book, netbook, notebook but more capable then the e-book readers so that they are actually mobile workstations for students and supporting the idea of “Always on Education”. (U.S.Department of Education,2010). The requirement analyses for the tablet shown that the major capabilities of the tablet should include thefollowing details like screen resolution, battery capacity, connection types but the most important ones are;Keyboard: Students expected to use the tablets to write essays and reports. Use of onscreen keyboards are noteffective as physical keyboards.Dock : While reading or following a lecture, tablets should stay in a proper angle and distance from thestudents. Docks will used for this ergonomic position and also provide HDMI connection for connecting bigger LCD or LED displays also providing charging utility with extension slots like USB.Digital Pen : Multi touch screens can handle finger movements and interaction, but what happens when the    student put his hand on the screen and wants to write handwriting, most of the tablets in the market first detectsthe hand and cannot write afterwards, however digital pens overcome this issue and student can use the tablets asordinary note taking environment without changing their writing position. Figure 1: Roadmap for Tablets in Education Software Requirements Operating System There are several operating system alternatives for tablets and most common ones are Windows 8, Androidand IOS. Windows 8 has been developed by Microsoft especially for mobile devices, Android is an open sourceapplication and widely used by different hardware manufacturers, IOS is the operating system developed byApple for iPads and other mobile devices. There are also other operating systems can be found for mobiledevices like GSM phones, handhelds or organizer this paper focuses on the tablets for education. According tothe requirement analysis an ideal operating systems should include the higher manageability and security policies can be defined in the operating system level. Any management software working over operating systemcan be blocked or disabled by any other application working over the operating system Among those operatingsystems only Windows Operating system with special editions have an option for management inside the    operating system with higher scalability. One another issue is the data and document sharing within the cloudand the tablet. In other words students can make an document in a software and then reads that document fromanother software and both can be active in the screen at the same time, which can be classified as multitasking. A good example for this is that student may have a homework that he’ll read from his study book and answer some questions according to text. So both programs should be share the same screen horizontally or vertically. Onlywindows operating system can be able to that, both IOS and Android in tablets only one program can be activeon the screen, the other program may continue to work in the background. A good operating system will also beready for virtual learning environments. Virtual Learning Environment s (VLEs) are computer-basedenvironments that are relatively open systems, enabling interactions and encounters with other people and providing access to a wide range of resources. VLE s can supplement face-to-face teaching methods, or totallyreplace these teaching methods in the case of distance learning. VLEs offer a number of advantages over traditional teaching environments in terms of convenience and flexibility.(Xu & Wang, 2006) . Interaction withsmart boards software, lab equipment and other common applications is also another must for the operatingsystem. Personalization and Single Sign On There are many personalization strategies used for adapting learning scenarios to the learner profiles, and most of the available personalization system s allow the application of very few if not just one predefined  personalization strategies. Furthermore, pedagogues and researchers can identify other needs for implementingnew personalization strategies.(Essalmi, Ayed, Jemni, Kinshuk, & Graf, 2010) . Personalization comes with personal accounts and settings in different software applications in the tablet since the areas of interest differsfrom student to student and their levels in the lectures are also different. A student in the basketball teams will bemore concerned in an example with famous basketball players or a science student will be more attractive to theself working duties related with renewable energy and hybrid cars. So not only their study sheets or homoworkstheir applications in the tablet should also personalized even there are some common ones. A single passwordcan be used for a campus license for an application however if the software applications are different so asusername and passwords. Single sign on idea is the key solution for this problem. Students will enter oneusername and password to login the system and the rest of the communication have been made by theapplication seamlessly. Measurement, Classroom Management and Connected Teaching The model of learning requires new and better ways to measure what matters, diagnose strengths andweaknesses in the course of learning when there is still time to improve student performance, and involvemultiple stakeholders in the process of designing, conducting, and using assessment. In all these activities,technology-based assessments can provide data to drive decisions on the basis of what is best for each and everystudent and that, in aggregate, will lead to continuous improvement across our entire education system. In aconnected teaching model, classroom educators are fully connected to learning data and tools for using the data;to content, resources, and systems that empower them to create, manage, and assess engaging and relevantlearning experiences; and directly to their students in support of learning both in and out of school. The sameconnections give them access to resources and expertise that improve their own instructional practices and guidethem in becoming facilitators and collaborat ors in their students’ increasingly self  -directed learning.
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