To encourage and enable professors to incorporate cloud-basaed technology into their curricula, IBM has launched a cloud computing environment for academia. At launch, IBM is initially working with 20 colleges and universities across the U.S. to help them use the Academic Skills Cloud. More schools will be added over time. The new cloud will provide academia an opportunity to use IBM software at no charge without having to install and maintain it themselves.
Building on the recently announced IBM Cloud Academy program for educational institutions, the new Academic Skills Cloud provides academia access to cloud computing resources for workforce skills development. IBM is partnering with educational institutions to leverage the power of cloud computing and enhance teaching and research services with more efficient IT environments.
Using the new IBM Academic Skills Cloud, professors can help students:
- Learn the latest technology skills, such as software development and practical use of information management, Web 2.0 and cloud computing and how they can be applied for decision-making;
- Access IT curricula and courses from anywhere using their laptop or netbook;
- Differentiate themselves from other graduates by gaining key IT skills to better compete for jobs.
Additionally, faculty can take advantage of cloud-delivered skills resources to integrate new IT courses in their curriculum, regardless of subject taught; facilitate group and long-distance learning programs for students; and free-up existing university technology infrastructure resources.
The first wave of academics using the skills cloud will be able to teach technology skills based on IBM Rational, WebSphere and Information Management software including Rational Application Developer, Rational Team Concert, Rational Software Architect, WebSphere Application Server, DB2 and Informix. IBM plans to add additional software over time including Cognos, Lotus and Tivoli.
"Businesses today are looking to the technology industry and academia to produce a highly-skilled workforce that can help drive transformational projects and solve industry-specific problems," said Jim Corgel, general manager, IBM Academic Initiative. "IBM is collaborating with academia to meet these needs and deliver IT skills through cloud computing to help the next generation of entrepreneurs graduate and be ready to innovate."