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The cloud and higher education: a health warning

The cloud and higher education: a health warning



My presentation for HeLF 26, 13 June 2012. It might beread alongside this article on emergent tech, which has some detail on the Cloud: http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/378

My presentation for HeLF 26, 13 June 2012. It might beread alongside this article on emergent tech, which has some detail on the Cloud: http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/378



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  • Good one Richard, the best consolidation of some of the more significant issues I've seen yet. My only thought in all this is: Do we really think the laws of the land in which the server is located do anything less or more to prevent or permit access that various agencies don't already exercise, regardless of the laws? Do we really think that the servers that our usually very under resourced IT folk manage (and not manage, as the case may be) are more secure than a 'cloud' service like Google and DropBox? I have a slight feeling that focusing on privacy and security is just a bit off target, as a relavent critical angle. I'm reckoning 'home grown', localisation, and local jobs and capacity is a more compelling, if lost battle to wage...
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    The cloud and higher education: a health warning The cloud and higher education: a health warning Presentation Transcript

    • The University and the Cloud: a health warning HeLF 26: Effectively navigating the cloud: The impact of externally hosted learning spaces Dr Richard Hall [@hallymk1/rhall1@dmu.ac.uk]
    • What was I asked to do? Identify benefits, constraints and impact of these new practices.3. How has the move to the cloud changed you role (i.e. gives you more time to focus on pedagogy?) and the role of your team (i.e. less/more focused on support?)?4. What impact is this having on resources/funding? How has this changed the way in which funding is allocated to e-learning developments? Where does the funding come from? Do you have to bid for funds from different sources within your institution or externally? Are you expected to tender? We would very much appreciate it if you could highlight which of these practices are transferable to other HEIs
    • context: organisation and risk
    • Cloud(s) or hosted or in-house?The debate has amplified issues around the following [risks].• Curriculum control/change-management: ad hoc vs strategic control vs staff digital/technical literacy.• Support and skills in-house: quality/distinctive or interesting vs boring.• Elasticity of demand and service-provision: developing technologies that will enable emerging and future web applications.• Maturing: Library and Learning Services: LibGuides (patron portals); SFX (OpenURL); Verde (electronic resource management); Prism (library catalogue); Discovery solutions (reading lists); netstorage.• Limited: student resources: Google Apps; Turnitin; Campus Pack.• Limited: staff resources: Google Sites (intranet).c.f. DMU Commons [WPMU/drupal]; Blackboard; internal restructuring.
    • ELT @ DMU
    • Money: technology as a crack for marketisation Q2. What impact is this having on resources/funding?
    • Education markets are one facet of the neoliberalstrategy to manage the structural crisis ofcapitalism by opening the public sector to capitalaccumulation. The roughly $2.5 trillion globalmarket in education is a rich new arena forcapital investment. (Lipman, P. 2009: http://bit.ly/qDl6sV)
    • The Treasury position, on shared services: 2.191 VAT: cost sharing – Following the announcement at Autumn Statement 2011 the Government will introduce a VAT exemption for services shared between VAT exempt bodies including charities and universities. HM Treasury (2012) http://bit.ly/GCRYCy
    • http://bit.ly/GI2nP4
    • This is further evidence of a piecemeal approach tohigher education change but the speed ofimplementation is likely designed to ‘do right by’Malcolm Gillies at London Met and allow him to rushthrough cost-cutting measures prior to 2012/13entry. It makes his low fee, no frill strategy moreviable and threatens more jobs there.Andrew McGettigan (2012). VAT exemption on shared services: http:// bit.ly/OrxKQf
    • Technology deployed inside hegemonic, fiscal “realities”. Driven by IT not “values”.• Public-private partnerships: services; re-engineering; applications; outsourcing; consultancy.• Discourses of efficiency/productivity to be rooted: analytics; big data; reduced circulation time; changes in production; workload monitoring.• Legitimation of R&D: value-for-money; commercial efficiency; business process re-engineering (c.f. European Vision 2020; HEFCE 2012).• Moral depreciation and constant innovation/value-creation.
    • http://bit.ly/MNPOpn
    • Governance: does it matter? Q1. How has the move to the cloud changed your role ?
    • • Twitter: EFF/American Civil Liberties Union; Birgitta Jonsdottir; U.S. Department of Justice; Wikileaks.• LinkedIn: cracking a service; aggregating data for future cracking; confirming guesses about passwords; comparing hacked data against pre- computed versions; broadening "guessable” data.• Facebook, Google and Twitter: new obligation to identify “trolls” ; internet companies will have to surrender the details of those posting libellous messages.• Leveson: Hunt’s private Gmail account; role of the information commissioner; use of private (email) accounts to conduct official business is subject to FoI. Service resilience; confidentiality/privacy; copyright/copyleft/content distribution; data security/back-ups; control/deletion
    • the legal standard for production of information by a third party, including cloudcomputing services under US civil (http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/rule_45)and criminal (http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcrmp/rule_16) law is whether theinformation is under the "possession, custody or control" of a party that is subjectto US jurisdiction.It doesn’t matter where the information is physically stored, where the company isheadquartered or, importantly, where the person whose information is sought islocated.The issue for users is whether the US has jurisdiction over the cloud computingservice they use, and whether the cloud computing service has “possession,custody or control” of their data, wherever it rests physically. EFF (2012): http://bit.ly/yqsrps
    • • We have a Governance Unit, a set of IT regulations and an IT Governance Group: http://infogov.our.dmu.ac.uk/ “The cloud has its own challenges, not least of which is the fact that the name can lead non-tech savvy folks to imagine that their data is bits of magic floating about in the ether rather than sitting on a server subject to the laws of the land in which it is located. There are concerns about ensuring safety of information.” “Additionally, potentially big problems with offshoring corporate assets outside of corporate governance.”
    • • Risk-management at a range of scales: does it matter if someone accesses your stuff? [Dropbox; subject to FoI]• What about corporate governance, including access to services that are marketised? [Google-Verizon and a two- speed internet; costs of accessing data in marketised HE?]• Does it matter if the responsible academic gets hit by a bus? [assessment; what should be managed in-house or hosted via a contract?]• Do we understand that data is being transferred into a service and that we have responsibilities? [T&Cs; IP; protected characteristics; indemnities for libel]• How do we work-up the digital literacies of our staff/students in this space? [staff guidelines http://bit.ly/LnazH5 ]
    • The University and the Cloud: a health warning is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.