Cloud computing for education: A professional development program for high school teachers

Reza Curtmola, John D. Carpinelli, Linda S. Hirsch, Howard S. Kimmel, Levelle Burr-Alexander

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A professional development program for high-school teachers, designed to explore ways in which Cloud Computing technologies can be leveraged to improve classroom instruction, has been developed to support the educational component of the NSF CAREER grant awarded in 2011 to Dr. Reza Curtmola at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The goal of the program was twofold: first, to expose high school teachers to the concept of Cloud Computing and the technologies associated with it, and second, to help teachers develop curriculum units based on Cloud Computing technologies that can be integrated into different high-school subjects. Sixteen high-school teachers participated in the program. The participants' teaching areas spanned a wide array of subjects ranging from Computer Technology, Math, Physics and Chemistry, to Human Anatomy, Biology, Environmental Science, and even Spanish. Participants received 20 hours of professional development credit. The program was structured into two workshop sessions. The first session, during the summer of 2012, consisted of three days of hands-on instruction. It focused on several instructional topics, including (a) Overview of Cloud Services, (b) Storing and Sharing Data in the Cloud, (c) Clouds in Education and Collaboration in and out of the Classroom, (d) Cloud-based Tools for Real- Time Collaboration, (e) Course Management using Piazza, (f) Standards-based Lesson Planning and Post-workshop Assignment, (g) Creating a Lesson Plan, and (h) Using Public Data Sets Available in Amazon's Cloud. At the end of the three-day workshop, participants were given an assignment to identify a lesson taught in their classroom which could use the cloud as an educational technology tool and then to write a revised lesson plan based on cloud computing integration and standards-based lesson planning. The assignment also required participants to submit the revised and original lesson plans plus samples of student work. The submitted lesson plans reflected the diversity of subjects taught by the participants and shared with their peers. The completed assignments were presented at the second workshop session, which consisted of a 1-day meeting in December 2012. Based on the teachers' applications for the program, we were able to outline what the teachers hoped to learn from the workshops. A pre-workshop survey helped us assess the participants' knowledge of cloud computing before beginning the program. Two-post workshop surveys were used to evaluate the impact of the program: A first post-workshop survey at the end of the first session, and a second post-workshop survey at the end of the second session. This paper describes the instructional material used during the workshop, the group discussions during the second workshop session, the assignments and lessons plans completed by teachers, and an assessment of the workshop's impact based on an analysis of the three surveys. A followup survey about their classroom implementation experiences and subsequent lesson plans was sent to all participants at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year. Participants' responses provided useful feedback for future workshops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2014
Event121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education - Indianapolis, IN, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2014Jun 18 2014


Other121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityIndianapolis, IN

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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