Cloud Computing

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What is Cloud Trip?

These are cloud-based applications promoted as software moving from the desktop to the web. We have seen in class that cloud computing is a term used to express the process of using web-based applications to accomplish tasks in a different way. What was traditionally done with desktop applications now belongs to what we already saw as webtop. It is highly recommended as there seems to be no reason for buying expensive software when you can use web-based applications, which can be free, to fulfil your computing needs.

The source tells us:

“Cloud Trip is a free to use directory of cloud computing web sites. In addition, if you have a useful web application you would like to share, sign up with Cloud Trip and post it in our directory.”

On the Home Page you can visualise and share all the applications made available by registered users. And you can also have the opportunity to rate the posted websites and help promote the best web applications out in the cloud.

On the About section you can find information about Cloud Trip, what it is and how you can be a part of it. For this, there are also the necessary terms and conditions one must accept to become a registered user. In this section, what seems to be of paramount importance is that everything is described in detail so as to accomplish with all the required legal terms and to adequately inform the potential registered user about the cloud.
Description of Service, Personal Use and Proper Use explain very carefully the terms of the service as free of charge, how you should take advantage of it only for your personal use (being older than 13, at least) and that if you agree with these terms, you are responsible for your own communications and for any consequences resulting from the use of the cloud.
“Cloud Trip disclaims all responsibility and liability for the availability, timeliness, security or reliability of the Service. Cloud Trip also reserves the right to modify, suspend or discontinue the Service with or without notice at any time and without any liability to you.”

As regards the user’s Intellectual Property Rights, Cloud Trip does not claim any ownership of the content, including text, data or information that you can upload or store in your Cloud Trip account. At the same time, the user has all the necessary right, power and authority to enter into the mentioned agreement and to perform the acts required of him or her as described.

Another aspect that is very important, if not the most one, is the Cloud Trip Privacy Policy. It is said to be updated from time to time and here the user agrees, despite the fact that Cloud Trip clearly states that privacy is very important for the user, that they “may monitor, edit or disclose your personal information, including the content of your emails, if required to do so in order to comply with any valid legal process or governmental request.”

Finally, there are also terms and conditions for copying, distribution and modification.
Some examples are:

This License applies to any program or other work which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed under the terms of this Affero General Public License.

Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not covered by this License; they are outside its scope.

You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty…


Main characteristics of the site:

Students of a high school in California created this site to collaborate on assignments. It was designed to keep teachers, students and parents in sync and also to reduce overhead for a school's administrative. It integrates with and connects the school community without the need to duplicate data entry.
I think that it is important to highlight that the site was created not only to keep teachers, students and parents in sync, but also to make them work collaboratively, participating in a truly collaborative learning environment.

Teaching and learning possibilities and examples of use:

Students can:
• create blog posts
• edit group wiki pages
• contribute to discussion forums
• share notes online
May be you can add some examples of ways teachers and students may interect in the distance using these tools. In which way they are resources for ELT?

Advanced calendar tool:

• It allows parents to see all of their children's assignments and extracurricular activities on one convenient calendar tool.
• Event data pulled from existing sources, reducing the need for additional data entry.

Two-way text messaging:

• Students and parents can receive notifications by cell-phone text message or e-mail on notification criteria they set up. For example: absences, new assignments posted, etc.
• Students and parents can request information by sending a text message. For example: what is tonight's homework, what's on the calendar for next day.

by M. Florencia Toucedo


In this is a blog teachers will find a variety of tools to encourage students to work in collaborative projects around the world. Always Learning proposes a place to reflect on how to use tech in our classrooms.
Kim Cofino, a Literacy Specialist at the International School Bangkok, works with other teachers to help students embed literacy skills into worldwide classrooms. Social networking tools, collaborative workspaces, blogs, wikis, and micro blogging tools are used by students so as to collaborate with peers in the learning process around the world.

Collaborative projects open up a wide range of meaningful and authentic ways of removing the barriers of time and distance. Using web 2.0 tools (like blogs, wikis, Skype, IM, social networks, etc) teachers, students and their peers around the world create an entirely online and inter-cultural environment. The potentiality of these tools has no limits; students will develop critical skills for their future and they will reinforce the belief that working with peers in other parts of the world will enrich their own lives and it is an exciting and creative way of learning.
Using networks let children know that there is a different world, different ideas, and different culture of their own. Even though people are far away in every sense, culturally and geographically, they are very much alike in many other aspects. Working with these projects makes them aware of their similarities and differences and enhance their possibilities of growing up without prejudices, racisms and discrimination. These are some of their links; the different projects are largely explained in detail clicking the link and they are also applicable to ELT teaching.

**Students Teaching Students: Blogging and Podcasting to Deepen Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop Units of Study**
Spanish ePortfolios: Spanish Students Track Their Learning via Blogging
**Life ‘Round Here**: Digital Video in Social Studies
Sounding Board for Flat Classroom Project: Wikis and Skype for Highly-Able Students
Moving on Up!: VoiceThread and Wikis
Blogging Buddies: Authentic writing through blogging
Team Bellone: Digital Storytelling via iMovie
Social Studies Influence Unit: Authentic Assessment via VoiceThread
1001 Flat World Tales: Collaborative writing using wikis
**Sprouting Seeds**: FOSS Science using VoiceThread
Window to our World: Social Networking via Ning
Global eLearners: ESL Students Present via VoiceThread
KinderKidsDraw: Kindergarten Students Share Their Learning via VoiceThread
Xtreme Learning: Social Networking via Ning
**Life ‘Round Here**: Digital Video for Assessment
Personal Learning Blogs
@manyvoices Twittory: Collaborative writing using Twitter
Native American Online Village: Collaborative Wikis
1001 Flat World Tales: Collaborative writing using wikis
The Connected Classroom: Social Networking via Ning
Books Go Global! Developing a love of reading via VoiceThread and wikis
BlogPals: Authentic writing through blogging
World Village
Small Moments: ESL Students Present via VoiceThread
Kindergarten Connections: Connecting Students via VoiceThread
The Meaning of Friendship: Students as Authors via SmartBoards
Weekly Newsletter: Students sharing via VoiceThread
Projects for Communication with Teachers, Students and Parents

If you click Blogging Buddies you will find step by step, from lesson 1 to lesson 5 how to deal with Authentic writing through blogging.
Blogging Buddies: Authentic writing through blogging: Eight grade 4 classes around the world are consistently communicating about their learning with Mrs. M’s and Mrs. T’s classes via their classroom blog. All students are contributing authors to the blog and have the opportunity to comment on the other classroom blogs to develop personal learning connections with other students around the world. Regular curriculum-focused activities are planned to ensure that connections and communication is learning focused. Other opportunities to connect, via Skype, wikis, and other tools will be used as appropriate to our learning goals.”

by Mariana Gandara

VOXPOP VOXPOP is a website where someone can share and discuss different topics with other people from all around the world for free. Anyone, using his real voice, can get in touch with others abroad to talk about his interests and passions. Their voice is recorded directly in this website. On the Home Page, visitors can find different links to start browsing the page and get to know what this wonderful resource is about. They can:

  • Listen to the latest conversations
  • Explore talkgroups and discussions
  • Know which the newest talkgroups and discussions are
  • See which the featured talkgroup is and what it is about
  • See who the most active users are
  • Sign up to start a talkgroup
  • Create a talkgroup of their own

Visitors can also ask for help, contact owners to provide some feedback about the website, know what the aim of the resource is, and have access to their blog.

Teaching and learning possibilities
  • Students can interact with native and non-native speakers of the language.
  • They can listen to different accents
  • They can ask questions about lexical items, collocations, etc.
  • They can decide what they want to talk about, so this resource can sometimes be used with a topic provided by the teacher, and some others students could use it to do some research about a topic they choose. This could be even more motivating for them
  • They can use the language in real life situations
  • They can improve their competence in the target language, become more fluent and accurate
  • They can share experiencies with others and learn from them
  • The more students use the language the more confident they become. They realise they can put a message accross, exchange information, etc.

Related link:


Julieta, I think that your job is well done. You have included a summary of the resource, potential applications in ESL and its benefits.
Well done!


What is an Avatar?
An avatar is a virtual representation of a person; an object or image that we choose to symbolize, embody, identify our own selves in the world of computers. In computer games, an avatar would be the character or model we choose to play with inside the realm of the game (often selected from a set of possible characters available). In Internet forums, chat rooms, or other programs like MSN Messenger, our avatar would be the icon or the (profile) picture that we display (often chosen freely by the users). So as we can see, avatars can range from “simple“ two-dimensional pictures of ourselves to more “complex” three-dimensional, fantastic characters in games; it can be a real-life digital photo of yourself, or it can be an image created and intended to be a creative alter ego (whether that is a hero, heroine, or even a statement).

Usually websites (especially forums and chat rooms) have a very wide selection of pre-created, generic avatars for users to select one that they like. However, it is very often the case that after a certain period of time users will learn how to create their own avatars and replace that first, “common” or generic representation of themselves for a more creative and personalized one.

In Virtual Worlds (such as, the avatar is a fully rendered interactive character. The user can customize his avatar to his own taste: hair length, body type, skin color, eyes, clothes, the avatar may physically resemble the user or be completely different. Also, the avatars may perform different actions inside the virtual world: dance, walk, run, cry, fight, open doors, or even create objects. Unlike web-based avatars, avatars in virtual worlds often have what we call an “inventory”: items or objects that the avatar has earned, purchased, gained or collected. Among the many things the avatar can keep in his inventory we can find food, superpowers, weapons, ammunition (usually associated with gaming avatars) or pets, currency, clothing, accessories, memberships to clubs among many others (associated with non-gaming avatars).

These are some websites that offer free avatars for you to download and use anywhere:
VOKI: (free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, and in email messages)

Teaching/Learning possibilities
Impact on ELT
Different avatars offer different teaching and/or learning possibilities. Because an avatar is something that can be customized and constantly changed, for example, in online-learning environments avatars offer students and teachers the possibility of expressing mood changes, emotions, preferences, ideas, beliefs. In these kind of environments, where distances make it difficult to share day-to-day things and where human contact is not the norm, avatars may offer novel and useful ways for people to feel connected to one another. This could have an impact especially on the area of (English) language teaching, where more and more people decide to take lessons and courses online with native speakers of the language. Feeling close to your “virtual-classroom” teacher and classmates helps learners increase their confidence and lower their anxiety and stress, which will in turn aid in the process of acquiring and learning the language. Specifically in the case of talking avatars, we can also find numerous advantages for the teaching and modeling of pronunciation, which is so difficult to achieve successfully in virtual learning environments.

by Melisa Polite

your work is excellent meli, as usual, congratulations!!! mariana gandara

Learning Library

What is Learning Library?
Learning Library is a site where the students are challenged to encourage practice and exploration in new media literacy skills.

On the
Home Page you can find the information distributed in three boxes: "Required Challenges", "Challenges", and "Media Elements". The first one presents important information that concerns the media to be uploaded. It is remarked the importance of copyright and it is explained how copyright law works and in which ways students can use and remix someone else's work. The notions of Fair Use and Public Domain, as well as Creative Commons, are explained so that students can learn how to deal with media that is not of their property and, of course, to give credit to the author.

Challenges section, there are a number of terms and concepts introduced as regards dealing with media. The objective is that students work on the meanings of these concepts (once thay get them across and understand in which contexts they are used) through games, videos, and also by visiting other related web sites. At the end of the challenge, students are asked to participate actively, answering questions and giving their opinion about the matter.

On the
Media Elements you can find games, videos, and also a photographic dictionary. You have also the options to submit media, and say who the owner is, bulid more challenges and add comments to what is uploaded.

Teaching and Learning Possibilities:
Working with Learning Library students are able to create a lot of things, like pictures and stories. They can label these things to show that they made them. The site presents different challenges which encourage students to explore new media literacy skills. The interesting thing is that teachers can work with their students building challenges to them. It is not that they are attached to a particular theme of the site, but instead thay are given the freedom to present and work with different materials, acoording to the students' needs and interests.

Learning Library encourages students to explore sites that have public domain images, files, videos, etc, as well as it teaches students how to work with content in order to make it easier to find information, for example, by tagging it. It gives students the key to start working on their own creations as information that may be uploaded on the net or just shared with a small group of people.
Theachers may use the information presented in this site to make students work on them and explore the net. In this way, they learn how to deal with other authors' works and, at the same time, they create their own works.

By Melisa Pilla.