Several years ago, I was attending a session at an ISTE conference. "The Cloud" was still a fairly new term - to educators, at least. The presenter - I believe it was David Thornburg - in the course of his comments made reference to "the cloud". He paused and as an aside told us - "You know that's just the new marketing term for the Internet, right?"
Yep, maybe so.
I would maybe try to make a slight distinction with the way that my university has transitioned to Canvas.
When they had D2L, they ran this product on their own servers.
Now with Canvas, they let Instructure run the server, so since the "server" is no longer a university server (that someone at the university can physically touch), it is "in the cloud."
Maybe this is true of my own Moodle. My Moodle server is not in my house. I have a VPS from GoDaddy. I cannot physically touch this server, so it is "in the cloud."
So with my university's D2L, even though students got to it via a URL (and over the Internet), they would not have said that D2L is "in the cloud."
Well, just my 2 cents. Other positions about this are welcomed.
Thank you everyone for your great comments.... seems like I started a heated discussion LOL.
For those not hosting the platform themselves, what does or does your institution's privacy and security policies with having users and students data hosted externally elsewhere? We have a very strict policy about this in that it has be a Canadian datacentre.
@David, my point exactly, even now I suspect a lot of high level educators and politicians think "the cloud" lies at the end of the Yellow Brick Road and is a place of soda pop fountains and ice-cream mountains, where happiness reigns, and the music plays ever so loudly....
@Rick, while I can appreciate the distinction, with Canvas it appears an issue of who owns the data? With Canvas, control seems to imply ownership. Unless I miss my guess, GoDaddy is not going to be arguing with you about who owns the data in your Moodle. My concern is if things go badly for Instructure in the longer term, it looks like they have already positioned themselves to use your organization's data as an asset of theirs. I have seen nothing, read nothing to make me think otherwise. Unless there is a private treaty or an EULA where it specifically states that data is not the property of Instructure, I would be extremely wary of their marketing.
@Jerry, we had a similar problem here, all that happened was the Government changed the law. It seems we don't know the power of the Dark Side. I wouldn't expect it to be any different in Canada, no matter how disappointing the outcomes.