An Ecosystem in e-Learning Using Cloud Computing as platform ...

  • Published on
    05-Jan-2017

  • View
    213

  • Download
    0

Transcript

  • 134 T h e R e s e a r c h B u l l e t i n o f J o r d a n A C M , V o l . I I ( I V ) P a g e |

    An Ecosystem in e-Learning Using Cloud Computing as platform and Web2.0

    Mona Nasr Shimaa Ouf Faculty of Computers & Information Faculty of Computers & Information

    Helwan University, Egypt Helwan University, Egypt

    m.nasr@helwan.edu.eg shimaaouf@yahoo.com

    ABSTRACT Research community has believed that an e-learning ecosystem is the

    next generation e-learning but has faced challenges in optimizing

    resource allocations, dealing with dynamic demands on getting

    information and knowledge anywhere and anytime, handling rapid

    storage growth requirements, cost controlling and greater flexibility.

    Additionally, e-learning ecosystems need to improve its infrastructure,

    which can devote the required computation and storage resources for e-

    learning ecosystems. Cloud computing technologies although in their

    early stages, have managed to change the way applications are going to

    be developed and accessed. These technologies are aimed at running

    applications as services over the internet on a flexible infrastructure.

    Cloud computing provides a low cost solution to academic institutions

    for their researchers, faculty and students. This setup provides an

    additional benefit because all browsers based applications can also be

    accessed through mobile devices in addition to being available to a

    variety of laptop and desk top computers, provided internet access is

    available. In this paper we combined various technologies to achieve

    this goal. We present an interactive tool that can be used for science

    education; integration between cloud computing as a platform and web

    2.0 are presented as a solution for building effective e-learning

    ecosystem.

    Keywords

    Cloud Computing as a platform, E-Learning, Ecosystem, Web 2.0,

    Virtual Community.

    1. INTRODUCTION During the last years, the nature of the Internet was constantly

    changing from static environment to a highly dynamic environment that

    allows end users to run software applications collaborate, share

    information, and creates new services online [1]. There is no doubt that

    the future belongs to the cloud computing. This new environment

    supports the creation of new generation of e-learning ecosystem that is

    able to run on a wide range of hardware devices, while storing data

    inside the cloud.

    The need for e-learning is increasing constantly and the development

    and the improvement of the e-learning solutions is necessary. Also, the

    e-learning systems need to keep the pace with the technology [1], so

    recently research community has believed that e-learning ecosystem is

    the next generation of e-learning [2] and the new direction is building

    and hosting e-educational system into the cloud. Also, there are several

    tools that offer support for e-learning ecosystem among this tools web

    2.0.

    Web 2.0 has changed the World Wide Web from the original traditional

    publishing model of information into a collaborative information

    creation model. The great diffusion of Web 2.0 as new instrument is

    having strong effect and change on the way people search, find,

    collaboratively develop and consume information and knowledge.

    Today people are extensively using some of the Web 2.0 applications

    such as Wikipedia, YouTube and Twitter to create and share

    information. Cloud Computing presents a new way of deploying

    applications. Today we can get Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS),

    Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS). There are

    elastic clouds where memory and processing power get allocated based

    on computing resources required at the time [3].

    Unlike the traditional web service technology, a light weight

    approach is available by Web2.0 services. Web 2.0 as term is closely

    associated with Tim O'Reilly is considered as a collection of web

    applications that reuse user generated content, initiate social interaction

    [4](Interaction typically occurs through discussion, commenting,

    collaborative writing, or working together on projects[5])and enable

    collaborative functionalities based on more usable and convenient

    technologies such as AJAX(Asynchronous JavaScript and XML),

    JavaScript, XSLT/XML(Extensible Stylesheet Language

    Transformations/ExtensibleMarkupLanguage),XHTML(ExtensibleHyp

    ertext Markup Language),CSS( Cascading Style Sheet) and Document

    Object Model, XML-RPC,REST (Representational State Transfer), RSS

    (Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Atom, wikis, podcast, mashups,

    Syndication), Social Bookmarking [4].

    In advance, these technologies facilitate the subscription, access,

    propagation; reuse and compilation of small chunks of content (micro

    content), interactive information sharing with the group members and/or

    with other learner groups, user-centered design. A Web 2.0 site gives its

    users the free choice to interact or collaborate with each other in a social

    media dialogue as creators of user generated content in a virtual

    community [6].

    Wikipedia, Flickr, YouTube , LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter,

    Facebook or Google Maps are representatives of Web2.0 applications.

    An important characteristic of these applications is that they provide a

    range of their functionality and data via web interfaces for third parties.

    Also, in all these social networks participants are as important as the

    content they upload and share with others [4]. Education and learning

    are not an exception of Web 2.0 trends, as the number of Web 2.0

    empowered e-learning environments are booming. So, researchers using

    Web 2.0 applications in e-learning ecosystem in order to [30]:

    Place learners at the centre of online activities and facilitate supposedly new forms of creation, collaboration, and

    consumption.[20]

    Allow learners to personalize learning environments [18].

    Allow learners to engage with new illiteracies and express themselves in different media.

    Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, or republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

    Copyright 2011 IJJ: The Research Bulletin of Jordan ACM - ISWSA;

    ISSN: 2078-7952 (print); 2078-7960 (online)

  • 135 T h e R e s e a r c h B u l l e t i n o f J o r d a n A C M , V o l . I I ( I V ) P a g e |

    Encourage a proficiency in the publication of content, which creates a sense of ownership, audience engagement, peer

    assessment, and informal learning.

    Facilitate learning [21].

    Use collaborative problem solving [22].

    Provide prompt feedback.

    Offer learners unprecedented opportunities to create and share content and to interact with others [21].

    Make e-learning environment more effective and successful [20].

    Provide flexible and cost efficient e-learning ecosystem.

    Offer very attractive capabilities for learners to collaborate and share learning contents (e.g. learning objects, drawings,

    animations, pictures, digital videos, texts etc.)[30].

    This paper is organized as follows: Section 2 describes how

    ecosystem can improve e-learning. Section 3 focuses on cloud

    computing concepts and the benefits of cloud computing for education.

    Section 4 illustrates an enhanced e-learning ecosystem based on an

    integration between cloud computing and web 2.0.

    2. E-LEARNING ECOSYSTEM The aim of this section is to summarize the complex situation for

    learning in environments of the 21st century by applying the ecosystem

    concept and identify high level requirements for our proposed flexible

    learning environment. Todays educators have access to new

    technologies such as cloud computing and Web 2.0 and they should

    capitalize on this advantage to facilitate learning and make learning

    environment more successful and effective [7].

    In recent years, we have witnessed significant growth and massive

    changes in the e-learning industry. Dondi and Delrio expressed

    concerns about first generation e-learning as follows [8]:

    Isolation of learners, lack of educators' feedback, student collaboration and campus social context.

    Uncertainty of costs for institutions and learners.

    Uncertainty about e-learning quality (resources, technology and support services) and e-learning evaluation.

    Shortage of competencies required for e-learning implementation among teaching staff, technical staff, and

    students.

    Domination of technology and market forces over educational aims and institutional development strategies.

    According to Cowley and others, there are set of contextual

    elements should take into consideration to make e-learning more

    effective and successful and to facilitate learning in complex and

    intricate situations:

    Environment: learners need a certain environment (PC, Connection, software).

    Teach skills: learners need to know something about how to use whatever learning system exists.

    Subject matter skills: learners need to have some prerequisite skills to benefit from the course.

    Support: there has to be a mechanism to get support when learners run into problems.

    Content: must be designed for interaction.

    Instructor: aware of learners' needs/concerns and involvement levels, attempts to draw learners into discussion

    early, organizes schedule, provides resources for learners in

    need of additional learning.

    Technology: should play effective role.

    Organization: focused on learning, time and resources made available [8].

    These elements belong to e-learning ecology or ecosystems that lead

    to the emergence of a second generation of e-learning [12]. This model

    is comprehensive and is capable of adapting new technologies and

    tools, integrating new learning approaches, adaptable to a variety of

    learning styles, and is responsive to the learning conditions[7].

    Ecosystem is defined according to the Encyclopedia Britannica as a

    complex of living organisms, their physical environment, and all their

    interrelationships in a particular unit of space "also, ecosystem is more

    flexible which can be of any size as long as organism, physical

    environment and interaction exists [9].The British ecologist,

    A.G.Tansley in 1935, and the American Raymond L. Lindeman define

    ecosystem a biotic community or assemblage and its associated

    physical environment in a specific place. [10]. Tansley indicated that

    ecology should appropriately consider the activities and effects of

    humans in ecosystems. The fact that he recognized new kinds of

    ecosystems that result at least in part from human actions is important

    [11]. The definition implicitly shows the interactions between the living

    (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components, and intrinsically within

    highly complex elements.

    The ecosystem is classified by biotic and abiotic components and

    their entire interrelationship in specified physical boundaries and its

    applicability to various application domains that lead Chang and Gtl to

    integrate the idea of the ecosystem to the learning domain [10].

    The generic model developed by Chang and Gtl depict learning

    ecosystem (LES) that consists of the stakeholders incorporating the

    whole chain of the collaborative learning processes, the learning

    utilities and the learning environment, within specific boundaries,

    called environmental borders also, show difference between living or

    biotic and non-living or abiotic components. This difference is to

    confirm that learning is a simple process between the living and non-

    living components but growing awareness of the different styles of

    potential learners, aware of learners' needs and early adopters'

    experiences, strategies and the existence of modern utilities, Pursuit of

    better learning via ICT(Information and communication technologies)

    for lifelong learning, emergence of adaptive hypermedia and the growth

    of open source software (OSS), the need to improve quality of e-

    learning, and systems compounded by internal and external

    environmental factors create a greater need to offer flexibility to survive

    in a complex learning environment[9].

    Fig.1 Simplified representation for the learning ecosystem (LES) [10]

    The generic model is outlined as follow: The biotic units (living

    parts) in the learning ecosystem constitute the learning communities

    and other stakeholders such as teachers, tutors, content providers,

    instructional designers and pedagogical experts who can interact and

  • T h e R e s e a r c h B u l l e t i n o f J o r d a n A C M , V o l . I I

    collaborate synchronously and asynchronously with one another and

    play significant roles in teaching and learning [10].

    The learning utilities comparable to the abiotic units represent the

    non-living parts; include the static and dynamic learning m

    (content and pedagogical aspects), background knowledge in the form

    of external sources such as Wikipedia, digital libraries, technology, and

    tools applied in teaching( Laptops, desktop computers, podcasting,

    Personal Digital Assistance (PDA) ).The technology may consists of the

    architecture and infrastructure platform for the management, delivery

    and tracking of e-learning in the form of learning content management

    system (LCMS), learning management system (LMS) and content

    delivery system (CDS)[7].

    The learning environmental boundaries, an analogy to the specified

    physical boundaries of the ecosystem defines the physical and logical

    borders of the learning system. That is one of the systems

    characteristics, which are in common specified as the

    ecosystem conditions [10].

    The learning ecosystem dynamic conditions are affected by

    external and internal influences, such as evolution of knowledge,

    educational goals, learning tasks, cultural and sociological aspects, and

    expectations by society, private industry and business organizations, the

    government, public service and not-for-profit organizations.

    the learning ecosystem conditions have important impact on the

    behavior of the system and its components. To be successfu

    be valuable for the system, each individual and group must adapt to the

    environmental conditions to find their niches. In order to fit them all

    together, proper learning utilities must also be available.

    Any learning situation consists of biotic and abiotic components

    which, their relationships and interactions together with the ecosystems'

    condition so that, researchers confirm that LES can be used with any

    learning situation, such as in classroom teaching or e-

    The major interests in the learning environment are relationships

    and interactions related to the information flow as well as knowledge

    transfer and transformation. Like a biological ecosystem, in a learning

    ecosystem, individuals can shape groups and can interact

    other or with learning utilities at the individual or group level. They also

    can perform, change or adapt specific behaviors in order to contribute to

    the success of the learning ecosystem [10].

    Extending ecosystem to e-learning defines E-learning ecosystem

    the term used to describe all the components required to implement an

    e-learning solution".

    Fig. 2 E-learning ecosystem components that is consists of Content

    providers, Consultants, Infrastructure [8]

    Consultants

    Strategy

    compensation

    Implementation

    Information technology

    Content

    Providers

    Brand

    Custom

    Commodity

    Infrastructure

    Learning Management System

    Tools

    Content Delivery System

    T h e R e s e a r c h B u l l e t i n o f J o r d a n A C M , V o l . I I ( I V )

    collaborate synchronously and asynchronously with one another and

    comparable to the abiotic units represent the

    living parts; include the static and dynamic learning media

    (content and pedagogical aspects), background knowledge in the form

    of external sources such as Wikipedia, digital libraries, technology, and

    tools applied in teaching( Laptops, desktop computers, podcasting,

    chnology may consists of the

    architecture and infrastructure platform for the management, delivery

    learning in the form of learning content management

    system (LCMS), learning management system (LMS) and content

    , an analogy to the specified

    physical boundaries of the ecosystem defines the physical and logical

    borders of the learning system. That is one of the systems

    characteristics, which are in common specified as the learning

    The learning ecosystem dynamic conditions are affected by

    external and internal influences, such as evolution of knowledge,

    educational goals, learning tasks, cultural and sociological aspects, and

    by society, private industry and business organizations, the

    profit organizations. Changes in

    the learning ecosystem conditions have important impact on the

    behavior of the system and its components. To be successful and to

    be valuable for the system, each individual and group must adapt to the

    environmental conditions to find their niches. In order to fit them all

    together, proper learning utilities must also be available.

    iotic and abiotic components

    which, their relationships and interactions together with the ecosystems'

    ers confirm that LES can be used with any

    -learning [9].

    interests in the learning environment are relationships

    and interactions related to the information flow as well as knowledge

    transfer and transformation. Like a biological ecosystem, in a learning

    ecosystem, individuals can shape groups and can interact with each

    other or with learning utilities at the individual or group level. They also

    can perform, change or adapt specific behaviors in order to contribute to

    learning ecosystem "is

    the term used to describe all the components required to implement an

    learning solution".

    learning ecosystem components that is consists of Content

    By focusing on the learning utilities component (abiotic unit) of ELES,

    the learning communities (biotic unit) of ELES must be self organizing.

    This self-organization is required to avoid a single point of failure.

    Furthermore, the interaction between learner

    improvement of the productivity of learning environment must be taken

    into account to achieve this cloud computing and web 2.0 as platform to

    develop e-learning ecosystems [7].

    3. A WALK IN THE CLOUD COMPUTING What is cloud computing and what does it mean for IT? A

    that is frequently asked by people inside and outside

    Information technology is changing rapidly, so cloud computing birth

    came to explore the next generation in

    has become one of the hottest buzzwords in the IT area. Many

    companies and institutions are rushing to define clouds and provide

    cloud solutions in various ways [2].

    Cloud computing is Internet-based

    resources, software, and information

    other devices on demand, like the electricity grid

    involves the existence of data centers that are able to provide services;

    the cloud can be seen as a unique access point for all requests coming

    from the world wide spread clients [1].

    Fig. 3 Cloud computing

    It allow users to use applications without, the need to purchase,

    install, or support software on their local computers and/or servers,

    worrying about how to maintain these applications,

    the users to access their personal files anywhere in the

    from any internet-enabled device, from their phones to their desktop

    computers, only the user pay according to how much and how often he

    need services [26].

    New advances in processors, virtualization technology, disk storage,

    broadband internet access and fast, inexpensive servers have all

    combined to make cloud computing a compelling paradigm [33].

    of the most important featured ideas behind cloud computi

    scalability, and the key technology which make it possible is

    virtualization [2]. Virtualization breaks down the physical barriers

    inherent in isolated resources, and automates the management of these

    resources as a single entity through hypervisor t

    (Virtual Machines).

    Cloud computing has critical impact on important areas of IT, like

    security, infrastructure, investments, and more [27]. It away to increase

    compensation

    Implementation

    Information technology

    Brand

    Custom

    Commodity

    Learning Management System

    Content Delivery System

    136 P a g e |

    focusing on the learning utilities component (abiotic unit) of ELES,

    the learning communities (biotic unit) of ELES must be self organizing.

    organization is required to avoid a single point of failure.

    Furthermore, the interaction between learners and educators and

    the productivity of learning environment must be taken

    o achieve this cloud computing and web 2.0 as platform to

    IN THE CLOUD COMPUTING and what does it mean for IT? A question

    that is frequently asked by people inside and outside technology industr.

    Information technology is changing rapidly, so cloud computing birth

    the next generation in computation. Cloud computing

    has become one of the hottest buzzwords in the IT area. Many

    companies and institutions are rushing to define clouds and provide

    based computing, whereby shared

    resources, software, and information are provided to computers and

    electricity grid [25].Due to the fact it

    involves the existence of data centers that are able to provide services;

    the cloud can be seen as a unique access point for all requests coming

    Fig. 3 Cloud computing [1]

    users to use applications without, the need to purchase,

    install, or support software on their local computers and/or servers,

    worrying about how to maintain these applications, in addition to enable

    the users to access their personal files anywhere in the world, anytime,

    enabled device, from their phones to their desktop

    computers, only the user pay according to how much and how often he

    New advances in processors, virtualization technology, disk storage,

    broadband internet access and fast, inexpensive servers have all

    combined to make cloud computing a compelling paradigm [33]. One

    ideas behind cloud computing is

    scalability, and the key technology which make it possible is

    virtualization [2]. Virtualization breaks down the physical barriers

    inherent in isolated resources, and automates the management of these

    resources as a single entity through hypervisor technology such as VMs

    Cloud computing has critical impact on important areas of IT, like

    security, infrastructure, investments, and more [27]. It away to increase

  • 137 T h e R e s e a r c h B u l l e t i n o f J o r d a n A C M , V o l . I I ( I V ) P a g e |

    capacity or add capabilities on the fly, reduce enterprise IT costs &

    complexities while improving workload optimization and service

    delivery, allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing

    storage, memory, processing and bandwidth without investing in new

    infrastructure, training new personnel, purchase software, or licensing

    new software [13]. So, cloud computing becomes an adaptable

    technology for many of companies and institutions with its dynamic

    scalability and use of virtualized resources as a service through the

    internet. Advances in technology offer new opportunities in enhancing

    teaching and learning so cloud computing has a significant impact on

    the educational environment.

    Potential Values of Cloud computing for education are:

    Provide opportunity for ubiquitous computing [30].

    No need for backing up everything to a thumb drive and transferring it from one device to another.

    No need to copy all stuff from one PC to another when buying a new one. It also means students can create a repository of

    information that stays with them and keeps growing as long as

    he wants them.

    A convenient tool to engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

    Provides large amounts of processing power comparable to supercomputer level.

    Crash recovery is nearly unneeded. If the client computer crashes, there are almost no data lost because everything is

    stored in the cloud [1].

    Allows students to work from multiple Places (home, work, library, etc), find their files and edit them through the cloud

    and browser-based applications can also be accessed through

    various devices (mobile, laptop and desktop computers,

    provided internet access is available) [14].

    Most software is free, available and ready-to-use.

    Students can have a richer and more diverse learning experience, even outside standard school hours.

    Allows students to create content through the browser, instead of only searching through the browser.

    It provides a low cost solution to academic institutions for their researchers, faculty and students [29].

    Flexibility. Scale infrastructure to maximize investments. Cloud computing allows user to dynamically scale as

    demands fluctuate [15].

    Accessibility. Help make data and services publicly available without jeopardizing sensitive information.

    Also cloud computing provides some major security benefits

    for individuals and educational institutions that are

    using/developing e-learning ecosystem, like the following:

    improved improbability : it is almost impossible for any interested person (thief) to determine where is located the

    machine that stores some wanted data (tests, exam questions,

    results) or to find out which is the physical component he

    needs to steal in order to get a digital asset[1].

    Virtualization: makes possible the rapid replacement of a compromised cloud located server without major costs or

    damages. It is very easy to create a clone of a virtual machine

    so the cloud downtime is expected to be reduced substantially.

    Centralized data storage: losing a cloud client is no longer a major incident while the main part of the applications and

    data is stored into the cloud so a new client can be connected

    very fast. Imagine what is happening today if a laptop that

    stores the examination questions is stolen.

    Monitoring of data access becomes easier in view of the fact that only one place should be supervised, not thousands of

    computers belonging to a university, for example. Also, the

    security changes can be easily tested and implemented since

    the cloud represents a unique entry point for all the clients

    [24].

    Cloud computing is an excellent alternative for both colleges which

    are specially under budget shortage to transform from traditional

    learning to e-learning and colleges which do not have the resources and

    infrastructure needed to run top e-learning solution effectively[15].

    There is several cloud computing services providers that offer

    support for educational systems. The internet giant Colleges advantages

    of available cloud-based applications offered by service providers and

    enable their own users/students to benefit from a set of online

    productivity tools and applications in the cloud such as email, contact

    lists, document storage, calendars, photo sharing, creation and sharing

    (spreadsheets, word processed documents, presentations etc), and the

    ability to create websites[27].

    Google is one of the most prominent companies offering software as

    a free online service to billions of users across the world (Google Apps,

    Maps and Gmail are all based in the cloud). It already owns a massive

    computer infrastructure (the cloud) where millions of people are

    connecting too.

    In 2008 Google has released Google App Engine as a platform

    enables the user to build and host web apps on the same systems that

    power Google applications. App Engine offers fast development and

    deployment; simple administration, with no need to worry about

    hardware, patches or backups; and effortless scalability [33].

    IBM's CloudBurst is a self contained, pre packaged cloud that

    includes hardware, software, applications, and middleware for faster

    application development and deployment turnaround time [3, 36].

    In 2006, Amazon extended its AWS (Amazon Web Service) suite

    with a new component called Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (or EC2)

    that allows to the users to rent from Amazon processing power to be

    used to run their own applications [31].

    Microsoft has also spent big bucks on cloud computing. The firm

    announced that Azure will go live in January 2010, Windows Azure

    platform as a flexible cloudcomputing platform that lets user focus on

    solving education problems, addressing students' needs and provides

    necessary web tools for education. Using Azure platform will bring the

    education institutions closer to its vision and giving the flexibility to

    education IT departments [29].

    Which cloud is right for the user? The choice to move to the cloud is

    not an all-or-nothing proposition. With different types of cloud

    offerings, user has flexible options about which services to obtain in the

    cloud and which to keep on-site. User priorities and security

    requirements determine the level of cloud capabilities to explore. If we

    look closely at the cloud, we will see three distinct sets of offerings:

    Infrastructure as a service (Iaas).

    Platform as a service (Paas).

    Software as a service (Saas).

  • T h e R e s e a r c h B u l l e t i n o f J o r d a n A C M , V o l . I I

    Fig. 4 Cloud Computing Layers [17]

    Software as a Service (SaaS): Deliver applications to the browser of

    user or customer from the cloud. It helps organizations

    process with limited IT resources to deploy and maintain needed

    software in a timely manner while, at the same time, reducing energy

    consumption and expenses. A growing number of academic institutions

    are turning to SaaS for their desktop applications (Hinds Commu

    College uses an email solution hosted in the cloud) Students now have

    the free collaborative tools they want [19].

    Platform as a Service: Cloud platform services or "Platform as a

    Service (PaaS)" deliver a computing platform and/or

    service, often consuming cloud infrastructure and sustaining cloud

    applications[13]. It facilitates development and deployment of

    applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing

    the underlying infrastructure (hardware (server, storage and network),

    and associated software (operating systems virtualization technology,

    file system)) [24].Cloud platform provide all of the facilities required to

    support the complete life cycle of building and delivering web

    applications and services entirely available from the Internet [33].

    Infrastructure as a Service (Data centers on demand):

    infrastructure services or "Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)" get on

    demand computer infrastructure. Rather than purchasing servers,

    software, data center space or network equipment, clients

    those resources as a fully outsourced service [17].

    The service is typically billed on a utility computing

    of resources consumed (and therefore the cost) will typically reflect the

    level of activity. It is an evolution of virtual private server

    [25].

    Using data centers means the user can scale with ease and speed to

    meet the infrastructure needs of his entire organization or individual

    departments within it, globally or locally [19].Amazon Web Services

    Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Secure Storage Service (S3) are

    examples of IaaS offerings [33].

    Virtual Desktop: Use any networked desktop in the users' enterprise to access the applications, data an

    Virtual Data Center: Add or reduce computing power and capacity as needed, control costs through a pay

    structure, and offer accessibility from anywhere [34].

    E-learning ecosystems can use benefit from cloud computing using:

    Infrastructure: use an e-learning ecosystem on the provider's infrastructure.

    Platform: use and develop an e-learning ecosystem based on the provider's development interface.

    Services: use the e-learning ecosystem given by the provider.

    SaaS

    Paas

    Iaas

    T h e R e s e a r c h B u l l e t i n o f J o r d a n A C M , V o l . I I ( I V )

    Cloud Computing Layers [17]

    Deliver applications to the browser of

    user or customer from the cloud. It helps organizations learning

    with limited IT resources to deploy and maintain needed

    software in a timely manner while, at the same time, reducing energy

    consumption and expenses. A growing number of academic institutions

    are turning to SaaS for their desktop applications (Hinds Community

    College uses an email solution hosted in the cloud) Students now have

    Cloud platform services or "Platform as a

    solution stack as a

    service, often consuming cloud infrastructure and sustaining cloud

    . It facilitates development and deployment of

    applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing

    the underlying infrastructure (hardware (server, storage and network),

    and associated software (operating systems virtualization technology,

    provide all of the facilities required to

    support the complete life cycle of building and delivering web

    applications and services entirely available from the Internet [33].

    (Data centers on demand): Cloud

    infrastructure services or "Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)" get on-

    . Rather than purchasing servers,

    software, data center space or network equipment, clients instead buy

    utility computing basis and amount

    re the cost) will typically reflect the

    virtual private server offerings

    can scale with ease and speed to

    meet the infrastructure needs of his entire organization or individual

    departments within it, globally or locally [19].Amazon Web Services

    Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Secure Storage Service (S3) are

    Use any networked desktop in the users'

    enterprise to access the applications, data and other resources.

    Add or reduce computing power and

    through a pay-per-use

    structure, and offer accessibility from anywhere [34].

    learning ecosystems can use benefit from cloud computing using:

    learning ecosystem on the provider's

    learning ecosystem based on

    learning ecosystem given by the provider.

    4. CLOUD COMPUTING AND WEB 2.0 Technologies and Services for building

    Ecosystems There have been many new advances in the computing field in

    recent times. Cloud Computing and Web 2.0 are two such areas that are

    beginning to significantly impact how we develop, deploy and use e

    learning ecosystem model. As shown in

    involving various stakeholders' needs to

    and content types, increasing e-learning ecosystem productivity and

    scalability, Moreover; learning environment must

    adaptable towards users needs and concerns.

    This raises the question of whether cloud computing and web2.0

    meet the indicated requirements. To answer this

    introduces the proposed model with new technologies

    between cloud computing and simple web 2.0 layer model

    linked with learning processes. Each layer will perform specific

    functions which contribute in achieving the

    Fig. 5 e-Learning ecosystem

    Components of the Proposed Model:

    (2) Specific types of services and applications, (3) Web 2.0 based

    activities, (4) learning processes (5) Cloud computing

    Azure (7) Windows Azure AppFabric and

    (1)Web2.0 Technologies: The first layer includes technologies

    which make Web services and applications more usable and

    convenient, such as AJAX, JavaScript,

    Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), REST, RSS, Atom, and the like. These

    technologies allow users to create, share, collaborate & communicate,

    improve system performance and make the user interface more

    attractive. From this layer we will use only the tools that compatible

    with cloud computing.

    (2)Web2.0 Services and Applications

    web 2.0 services and application built on

    that demonstrate the foundations of the web 2.0 concept, and they are

    already being used to a certain extent in education, these applications

    include weblogs, wikis, social writing tools,

    tagging, podcasts, media sharing tools, social networks, mashup and the

    like. These are not really technologies as such, but services built using

    the building blocks of the technologies and open standards that underpin

    the Internet and the Web. The universities ca

    applications to communicate and interact with learners, staff and the

    wider academic community. From this layer we will use only the tools

    that compatible with cloud computing.

    (3)Web 2.0 Based Activities: The third layer contain

    activities are depending on web2.0 services

    Web 2.0-based activities include collaborative content writing, sharing,

    communication, messaging, information linking, information

    presentation and the like.

    (4)Learning Processes: The learning processes are summarized as a

    number of the learning processes are defined by the Learning

    Each of the learning tasks can be controlled by one or even several

    138 P a g e |

    CLOUD COMPUTING AND WEB 2.0 Services for building efficient E-Learning

    Ecosystems many new advances in the computing field in

    recent times. Cloud Computing and Web 2.0 are two such areas that are

    beginning to significantly impact how we develop, deploy and use e-

    shown in Section 2, e-learning ecosystem

    needs to integrate a variety of services

    learning ecosystem productivity and

    ; learning environment must be flexible and

    concerns.

    cloud computing and web2.0 can

    . To answer this question, Figure 5

    introduces the proposed model with new technologies, integration

    between cloud computing and simple web 2.0 layer model will be

    linked with learning processes. Each layer will perform specific

    functions which contribute in achieving the paper objectives.

    earning ecosystem model

    Components of the Proposed Model: (1) Web2.0 technologies,

    types of services and applications, (3) Web 2.0 based

    activities, (4) learning processes (5) Cloud computing (6) Windows

    and (8) SQL Azure.

    The first layer includes technologies

    Web services and applications more usable and

    convenient, such as AJAX, JavaScript, XSLT/XML, XHTML,

    Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), REST, RSS, Atom, and the like. These

    technologies allow users to create, share, collaborate & communicate,

    rformance and make the user interface more

    attractive. From this layer we will use only the tools that compatible

    Web2.0 Services and Applications: The second layer consists of

    web 2.0 services and application built on Web 2.0 technologies layer

    that demonstrate the foundations of the web 2.0 concept, and they are

    already being used to a certain extent in education, these applications

    include weblogs, wikis, social writing tools, social bookmarking, social

    podcasts, media sharing tools, social networks, mashup and the

    like. These are not really technologies as such, but services built using

    the building blocks of the technologies and open standards that underpin

    The universities can make use of these

    applications to communicate and interact with learners, staff and the

    wider academic community. From this layer we will use only the tools

    The third layer contains specific

    on web2.0 services and applications. These

    based activities include collaborative content writing, sharing,

    ommunication, messaging, information linking, information

    learning processes are summarized as a

    learning processes are defined by the Learning tasks.

    Each of the learning tasks can be controlled by one or even several

  • 139 T h e R e s e a r c h B u l l e t i n o f J o r d a n A C M , V o l . I I ( I V ) P a g e |

    learning activities. Such activities can be provided through the Web 2.0

    services and applications by Web 2.0-based activities.

    (5)Cloud computing as a platform:

    Cloud computing as a platform is a new era of cloud computing

    offers the academic organization a familiar development experience,

    on-demand scalability, scale up when it need capacity and pull it back

    when it dont, cost savings, and reduced time to market for the

    applications, all in a secure environment[35] . It is a new instrument to

    host and deploy e-learning ecosystem in more effective way. We will

    use windows azure as a platform.

    (6)Windows Azure: Provides a Windows-based environment for

    running e-learning ecosystem application and storing data on servers in

    Microsoft data centers.

    (7)Windows Azure AppFabric: provides a comprehensive cloud

    middleware platform for developing, deploying and managing e-

    learning ecosystem application on the Windows Azure Platform. It

    delivers additional developer productivity adding in higher-level

    Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities on top of the familiar

    Windows Azure application model. It also enables bridging the existing

    applications to the cloud through secure connectivity across network

    and geographic boundaries, and by providing a consistent development

    model for both Windows Azure and Windows Server.

    (8) SQL Azure

    Is a highly available and scalable cloud database service built on SQL

    Server technologies? With SQL Azure, developers do not have to

    install, setup, and patch or manage any software.

    Benefits of windows azure: Agility: Take advantage of development tools, automated service

    management and global datacenter presence to respond faster to

    customer needs, focus on his competitive differentiators, and reach new

    markets.

    Efficiency: Windows Azure improves productivity and increases

    operational efficiency by lowering up-front capital costs.

    Focus: Focus on delivering services and value to user and not on

    managing technology infrastructure. Windows Azure enables user to

    spend less time on operational hurdles and more time focusing on his

    competitive differentiators.

    Simplicity: Utilize user existing skills in familiar languages such as

    .NET to create and manage web applications and services.

    Trustworthy: Enterprise class service backed by reliable service level

    agreements and a rich online services experience.

    Emerging web 2.0 layers with windows azure as a platform meet

    the needs of the education communities in the educational institutions.

    5. SYSTEM ANALYSIS AND DESIGN Fig 6 and Fig 7 show a deep understanding of the goals, tasks, and

    requirements of the proposed enhanced e-learning ecosystem.

    Fig. 6 E-learning Ecosystem Diagram

    Fig. 7 Database Schema

    6. CONCLOSION The design of e-learning ecosystems is still in its infancy. With the huge

    growth of users, services education contents and resources, e-learning

    ecosystem is facing challenges of optimizing resource allocations,

    dealing with dynamic concurrency demands, handling rapid storage

    growth requirements and cost controlling. So the best solution for this is

    using new technologies (integration between cloud computing and web

    2.0). In the field of ICT sourcing cloud computing is currently one of

    the biggest topics. Cloud computing is a delivery model that allows

    users to rent ICT services and performance on an on-demand or project

    basis through networks (e.g. the Internet or an intranet) instead of

    uc Actors

    E-Learning Ecosystem

    Learner

    Educator

    Admin

    Author

    Coordinator

    Manager

    View Course

    Create Profile Interactiv e

    Discussion

    Adj ust User

    Interface

    Create Content

    Enroll courses

    Utilize Content

    Update Content

    Collaborate

    Content Creatre New

    Course

    Manage Content

    Category

    Create curriculum

    Inspect learner

    activ ities

    Update the Existing

    Course

    Supervise

    learner learning

    Coach learner

    learning

    Assist learner

    learning

    Ev aluate learner

    learning

    participate in

    discussions

    communicate

    personal messages

    exchange personal

    messages

    collect deliv erables

    assess deliv erables

    return deliverables

    comment proj ect

    work

    review learning

    activ ities

    stimulate learning

    proposing activ ities

    create work teams

    provide contents

    ev aluate learners

    progress

    communicate with

    learners, other

    educators and

    coordinators

    administrate security

    access rights to the

    system

    access rights to the

    system

    network operations

    Monitor and repair

    database

    connections and

    operations

    Monitor & repair

    server problems

    Maintain the system

    produce statistics

    Inspect course

    progress

    Monitor learner

    progress

    Tally an analyze test

    results

    Approv e eligible

    course enrollments

    manages enrollments

    manage courses

    catalogue

    Assign profiles and

    priv ileges to the

    users

    Administer the

    system

    Backup database

    Manage System

    setting

    Manage User

    priv ileges

  • 140 T h e R e s e a r c h B u l l e t i n o f J o r d a n A C M , V o l . I I ( I V ) P a g e |

    purchasing them. These services can be software (SaaS Software as a

    Service), platforms for the development and operation of applications

    (PaaS Platform as a Service) or basic infrastructure, e.g. storage space

    (IaaS Infrastructure as a Service).

    7. REFERENCES

    [1] Pocatilu, P., F. Alecu, et al. "Measuring the Efficiency of Cloud

    Computing for E-learning Systems", Romania /January 2010.

    [2] Bo Dong, Qinghua Zheng, et al. "An E-learning Ecosystem Based

    on Cloud Computing Infrastructure", "the Ninth IEEE International

    Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies", China /2009.

    [3] BEIN, D., W. BEIN, et al. "the impact of cloud computing on web

    2.0", USA/ Aug 2008.

    [4] Cormode, G. and B. Krishnamurthy. "Key Differences between

    Web1.0 and Web2.0" , February 13, 2008.

    [5] Christian Safran, Denis Helic, et al. "E-Learning practices and Web

    2.0", In the proceeding of "the ICL Conference", September 26 -28,

    2007.

    [6] http://en.wikipedia.org. Web 2.0.

    [7] C. G. and V. C. 2. "The use of Web 2.0 Technologies and Services to

    support E-Learning Ecosystem to develop more effective Learning

    Environments", the Ninth IEEE International Conference on Advanced

    Learning Technologies", Australia /2008.

    [8] Uden, L., I. T. Wangsa, et al. "The future of E-learning: E-

    learning ecosystem", "the Inaugural IEEE International Conference on

    Digital Ecosystems and Technologies (IEEE DEST 2007)".

    [9] Gerhard Wurzinger, V. Chang, et al. "Towards greater Flexibility in

    the Learning Ecosystem Promises and Obstacles of Service

    Composition for Learning Environments",Australia.

    [10] Gtl, C. and V. Chang. "E-Learning Ecosystem (ELES) A

    Holistic Approach for the Development of more Effective Learning

    Environment for Small-to-Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)",

    Australia.

    [11] Pickett, S. T. A. and J. M. Grov. "Urban ecosystems: What would

    Tansley do?",20 January 2009, Springer.

    [12] Jax, K. "Can We Define Ecosystems? On the Confusion between

    Definition and Description of Ecological Concepts", 2

    October,2007,Germany,Springerhttp://www.springerlink.com/content/?

    Author=Kurt+Jax

    [13] Thomas. P. Y. "Cloud computing: A potential paradigm for

    Practising the scholarship of teaching and learning", University of

    Botswana.

    [14] Al-Zoube, M., S. A. El-Seoud, et al. "Cloud Computing Based E-

    Learning System". "International Journal of Distance Education

    Technologies (IJDET)", 2010, 8(2).

    [15] T. E. "Effective Use Of Cloud Computing In Educational

    Institutions". January 5, 2010, Turkey, from Elsevier Ltd.

    [16] M. S. "Integrating Web 2.0 in e-learning environments: a socio-

    technical approach", "International Journal of Knowledge and

    Learning", 2007, 3(6).

    [17] http://en.wikipedia.org. Cloud computing.

    [18] Sclater, N. "Web 2.0, Personal Learning Environments, and the

    Future of Learning Management Systems",

    2008.http://www.igiglobal.com/Bookstore/Article.aspx?TitleId=42095.

    [19] Turner, N. "Cloud Computing: A Brief Summary. September 2009:

    Lucid Communications Limited.

    [20] Fiaidhi, J. and S. Mohammed. "Learning Agents Framework

    Utilizing Ambient Awareness and Enterprise Mashup", "the

    International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance

    Learning", 2008, 6(3).

    [21] Selwyn, N. "Web 2.0 applications as alternative environments for

    informal learning - a critical review", paper for OECD-KERIS expert

    meeting, London, UK.

    [22] http://en.wikipedia.org, web 2.0.

    [23] Dong, B., Q. Zheng, et al.Jampots: A Mashup System towards an

    E-learning Ecosystem,"2009 Fifth International Joint Conference on

    INC, IMS and IDC".

    [24] Wheeler, B. and S. Waggener."Above-Campus Services: Shaping

    the Promise of Cloud Computing for Higher Education",

    November/December 2009.

    [25] http://www.wikinvest.com, Cloud Computing.

    [26] http/www.salesforce.com, what is cloud computing.

    [27]http://www.infoworld.com, what cloud computing really means. By

    Eric -Knorr and G. Gruman.

    [28]http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk, what is 'Cloud Computing',

    and What Can It do for Education? .Sep 16. By David Hopkins.

    [29] http://www.microsoft.com,Cloud computing For Education.

    [30]http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk, Benefits of Collaborative

    Learning. Jul 8 .By David Hopkins.

    [31]http://aws.amazon.com, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon

    EC2).

    [32]http://www.gc-solutions.net, Cloud Computing & How It

    Impacts e-Learning. June 24th, 2010 by Gupta, M.

    [33] http://code.google.com, Google App Engine

    [34] http://content.dell.com, Dell and Cloud Computing.

    [35] https://www.microsoft.com, Windows Azure Platform.

    [36]http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/cloudburst/. IBM Smart Business

    Systems.

Recommended

View more >