Cloud development involves provisioning of online services to address specific needs of the Manaiakalani project.
While a number of educational resources are now cloud-based, the focus of this effort is on Google Apps, and making Google Apps easier to use for the participating schools. Google Apps is available to schools free of charge, and a number of Manaiakalani resources have significant amount of educational experience and expertise with the tools.
NOTE: the functionality described below is now available to all schools as the Managed Learning Environment for Google Apps from Hapara. Please see http://www.hapara.com for more info.
There are several specific areas being addressed:
- Provisioning: ability to synchronise accounts on Gmail with the school's SMS or directory services system
- Provisioning actions: configuration of activities that take place in response to a provisioning event, i.e. setting up shared folders when a student is enrolled
- Login management: ability to provide age-appropriate login facilities (visual login for younger children), and support facilities (ability for teacher to access a student account)
- Teacher's dashboard: a teacher-oriented summary view of Google Docs for a classroom that displays activity on a per-subject, per-child basis
- Content migration: migration of student's Google Apps content as they move between schools; use of a "holding domain" for students moving to non-Google Apps schools
- Content policies: ongoing monitoring of student content (in Google Docs and Sites) and enforcement of policies around content ownership, sharing, publishing, and inappropriate content
- Parent interface: an online facility to enable parents/caregivers to gain read-only access to their student's activity log and documents they collaborate on
The above components rely on a specific Google Docs folder structure, set up to simplify ongoing management of student-generated documents. See Manaiakalani folder structure
The tools build on existing Google Apps capabilites, and enhancements to Google Apps extensions from Hapara, our Google Partner.
The software described above runs in the Google cloud, and with the possible exception of the SMS integration, does not require any software or hardware.