Monday, June 22, 2009

Future of the Web

On April 27th, I posted a video by Microsoft labs entitled A Glimpse Ahead. I have read and seen many people talk about the future of the web. And this dialogue easily leads to the concept of cloud computing. When services and processing occurs on the web, what happens to the local machine? Does platform matter in the future?

In some ways, no it doesn't. Many web services provide great tools free or at a minimal cost to users. And users on any platform can access and utilize them through their web browser. However, I still don't see the end to the local machine. People like to work on their laptops or desktops without being connected. As we are more connected in more places, this may change. But I think it will take awhile...quite awhile. The performance of editing photos or multimedia on the local machine versus the web is a good example currently. However, even simple tasks like typing word processing documents can meet a turned up nose. You can do many things via the web...but the performance often lags behind that of the local machine. The value of running programs locally remains important to many users.

Some people are just plain uncomfortable with the constant need for a connection. They can generate documents on Google Documents but the truth is that they strongly prefer to use MS Word. Perhaps they are stuck in a rut. Perhaps they do not have a ubiquitous connection to the internet. Perhaps some of it is the influence of their computer culture that surrounds them. I am sure there are many reasons for it but it seems to be my observed reality.

With that said, although many tasks can be completed independent of the operating system, the OS will continue to be important in the foreseeable future for both us and our students. Despite the many applications available on the web, our schools have decided to utilize the tools available to us on the Apple OS. It's not best for everybody but we believe it is best for our schools and the learning environment we are trying to create. We know Apple is not well known in Korea but we desire to implement it because of the advantages it brings to our students. My posts on our transition to Apple is not all-encompassing but it does at least give insight to some of the perspectives within our decision-making and transition process. I do hope you have found the information useful, and informative at a minimum.

It is summer time and my posts to this blog will take a vacation, hopefully like myself. I will resume more regular posts about technology and education topics in the fall. May you have a restful summer!

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