Provides a global forum for Higher Ed and K-12 innovation, collaboration and research.
DENVER, CO .- IBM (NYSE:IBM) today launched the IBM Cloud Academy, a global forum for educators, researchers and information technology (IT) personnel from the education industry to pursue cloud computing initiatives, develop skills and share best practices for reducing operating costs while improving quality and access to education.
IBM announced at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference that 17 educational institutions worldwide are the first to participate in the Cloud Academy. United States-based institutions include George Mason University; Georgia State University; Gwinnett County Public Schools; Marist College; New York University; North Carolina State University; Pike County Schools; The Executive Leadership Foundation’s Technology Transfer Project – a collaborative effort for Historically Black Colleges and Universities; and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. International institutions include Beijing University of Technology in China; Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), Qatar University (QU) and Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) in Qatar; Ecole normale supérieure de Lyon in France; Ozyegin University in Turkey; Nanyang Technical University in Singapore; and Victoria University in Australia.
Cloud computing makes it easier for those in the education industry, including students, faculty and administrators, to gain immediate access to a wide range of new educational resources and research applications and tools said Michael King, vice president, IBM Global Education Industry. The IBM Cloud Academy will advance awareness and adoption of cloud computing, including best practices for education and research institutions.”
IBM Cloud Academy Advocates Collaboration and Innovation
The IBM Cloud Academy will enable these institutions and other participants to collaborate using an IBM-managed cloud, available via the Internet, lowering barriers to entry for the development and contribution of subject matter expertise. Through the Academy, members can create working groups on areas of interest to the education industry, “jam” on new innovations for clouds in education-related areas with IBM developers, work jointly on technical projects across institutions, share research findings, and exchange new ideas for research. Participants are also encouraged to innovate to further advance cloud computing by preparing education-focused open source software for clouds, integrating cloud provisioning and de-provisioning services, validating content for compliance with accessibility standard, and leveraging IBM cloud offerings for teaching, learning, research and administration.
A vital aspect of the IBM Cloud Academy will be the development of new technologies and research methods. The IBM Cloud Academy gives participants the ability to work with elite researchers in IBM labs throughout the world, many of whom are working on cloud initiatives in education, to extend the boundaries of cloud computing in education.
IBM will also collaborate with participants of the IBM Cloud Academy on integrating cloud technologies into their campus and district infrastructures, including IBM’s virtualized server and storage hardware, Tivoli Provisioning and Automation software for management of cloud environments, campus and student computer lab management with the Virtual Computing Laboratory project, and cloud integration services from IBM’s global services organizations.
IBM’s Cloud Academy leverages IBM’s Academy of Technology, whose membership consists of IBM top technical leaders from around the world who are working in research, hardware and software development, manufacturing, and services.
Participants will have access to IBM’s public cloud services, including LotusLive for administration collaboration, IBM Desktop Cloud Services, delivery services for Virtual Computing Labs, and Corporate Citizenship Education Projects, such as PowerUp, Forbidden City and TryScience.
One of the tools hosted by LotusLive is the online version of Innov8 2.0, IBM’s flagship ’serious game,’ which is integrated with BPM BlueWorks. Shown at EDUCAUSE, Innov8 2.0 is being used by more than 100 universities worldwide and features real-world business scenarios where the goals are to maximize profitability and customer satisfaction while minimizing carbon emissions. Challenges in the game include managing a supply chain, reducing congestion in a city, and optimizing call center queues.
IBM’s Cloud Computing and Education Initiatives
The IBM Cloud Academy represents a continuation of the cloud computing projects that IBM has initiated over the past two years. These programs provide a forum for collaboration, research and innovation, as well as a showcase for the work and projects IBM has completed with the education industry. Some highlights include:
* In October of 2007, IBM and Google teamed up to help university students gain the skills needed to program cloud applications.
* The two companies have since joined forces with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to enable more students to participate in the IBM/Google Cloud Computing University Initiative through grants provided from NSF through its Cluster Exploratory (CLuE) program.
* IBM continues to work with universities and educational institutions worldwide, giving students access to cloud computing technologies to help them complete research projects that aid in the development of remote regions and socio-economic conditions all over the globe.
The charter members of the IBM Cloud Academy will work with IBM to define the final structure of the academy, which will open for general membership early in 2010.