AWS Educate Looks To Prepare The Next Generation Cloud Workforce

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AWS educational program for teachers will inject cloud framework into the curriculum

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has today launched a program which looks to equip students with the skills to use its cloud technology for when they eventually enter real work.

Called AWS Educate, the program sets guidelines for teachers in academic institutions in how to teach students cloud-related content and cloud technology skills, with AWS cloud being incorporated into the curriculum.

AWS said: “Based on the feedback and success of our grant recipients and the global need for cloud-skilled workers, we developed AWS Educate to help even more students learn cloud technology first-hand in the classroom. We’re pleased to offer AWS Educate to educators, students and educational institutions around the world.”

Future technologists

AWS has been dishing out educational grants for years now, looking to mould future technologists into capable little Amazonites. AWS said that it has seen students develop assistive computer vision technology in collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind, and aspiring entrepreneurs take a web startup from conception to launch within 60 hours.

But now the AWS Educate program has been launched to help students learn about cloud technology right in the classroom. “We’re pleased to offer AWS Educate to educators, students and educational institutions around the world,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president of worldwide public sector at AWS.

AWS is enticing teachers to sign up for the program by offering a number of benefits for both educators and students. These include AWS credits which go some way in reducing the cost of services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon S3 storage and Amazon Redshift. Students can also get access to ‘self-paced’ labs that are online courses on the AWS innards.

AWSAWS pulled up a testimonial from one computer science professor based at Carnegie Mellon University in the US. Dr Majd Sakr said that he first incorporated AWS services into his cloud courses three years. “The cloud resources AWS provided me has allowed me to really challenge my students to develop real-world solutions to problems they might face in their careers,” said Sakr.

“One such project involves giving students 1.2 terabytes of Twitter data and asking them to compete against other students by building a tweet query web service that meets correctness, budget and throughput requirements. So far, we’ve had over 770 students complete this course, and as an institution, we are committed to expanding our use of AWS technology in the classroom over the next several years through AWS Educate.”

Hey, Cloud, leave those kids alone

But Amazon is not the first major cloud player to start tinkering with our future cloud engineers. Microsoft also offers academic institutions grants and courses for its Azure cloud platform. With topics covering virtual machines and Big Data, Microsoft said it “works to help inspire students to chase their dreams and create the next technical breakthroughs by providing opportunities to train and use Microsoft”.

Google is also in on the action. In 2014, the search giant released education tools for teachers who want to manage their classes with the help of Google Cloud. Its ‘Drive for Education’ also saw Google give away unlimited storage space and access to Google Vault for students whose institutions have signed up for the initiative.

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