whurley: As an educator, do you see cloud computing as a major force in helping close the digital divide underprivileged students face?
Zimmerman-Bence: While cloud computing won't solve the physical and economic problem of access to both connection and processor, the greatest potential the proposed SIMtone education initiative has is in reducing logistic problems for managing student access to content and tools. So while cloud computing doesn't solve how to get a connection and processor to students, the cloud has already solved the next problem -- how to massively scale serving and supporting curriculum, content, and student tools.
I'm still hoping the Obama administration will help create a national computing cloud these students can use once they've moved on to college. Until then, this is one of best educational uses of cloud computing I've come across. Kudos to the Minnesota for taking the obvious risk in kicking off this program and SIMtone for making such a system available. Who knows? Maybe an MNOHS student will come up with the next great idea that closes the digital divide.