Amazon Launches Cloud Computing Education Program

Amazon Web Services AWS Educate higher educationAmazon Web Services introduces a program designed to help secondary and higher education students gain skills and training in cloud computing technology.

Called “AWS Educate,” the program offers a slate of resources to instructors and institutions to incorporate cloud-related content into their coursework.

Amazon cites the growing demand within many industries for skilled workers with training in cloud technology as a motivation for launching AWS Educate.

From its own standpoint, the program also gives Amazon a new toehold in the education sector and aims to familiarize the next generation of cloud computing professionals with the tools and products of one of its fastest growing businesses, even before they enter the field.

[Press Release]

Amazon Web Services Announces AWS Educate to Accelerate Cloud Learning in the Classroom

AWS Educate delivers real-world cloud technology to the classroom with AWS credits, training, course content, and an educator community forum

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 14, 2015– Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced the launch of AWS Educate, a program that helps educators and students use real-world cloud technology in the classroom to graduate students ready to enter the cloud workforce. AWS Educate is designed to make it easy for educators to quickly and easily find cloud-related course content, incorporate cloud technology into their teaching curriculum, and provide students with hands-on experience with cloud technology – with AWS credits to make the cloud more affordable than ever. AWS Educate is free for educational institutions, educators and students to join, following AWS’s approval of their application. To learn more about AWS Educate, visit: http://www.awseducate.com.

Cloud computing has rapidly transformed the way businesses and organizations across industries operate and innovate, such as researchers using the cloud to study genomics, non-profits using data analytics to better target donors, startups creating disruptive new applications, or established companies bringing new innovations to market faster. Cloud computing has become the default environment not just for building and deploying applications, but it has also become a key driver for transforming organizational innovation and business operations. As such, there is a growing demand for developers, information technology (IT) professionals, and forward-thinking business leaders with demonstrated knowledge of cloud computing. AWS Educate empowers educators with training, tools, and technologies to help students develop the skills to design, deploy and operate applications on the AWS Cloud.

“For years, the AWS educational grants program has put cloud technology in the hands of educators and students, giving them the ability to put big ideas into action. We’ve 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,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, AWS. “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 firsthand in the classroom. We’re pleased to offer AWS Educate to educators, students and educational institutions around the world.”

By joining the program at http://www.awseducate.com, educator and student members receive several benefits, including:

  • AWS credits: Educators and students can apply for and redeem AWS credits for eligible services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon CloudFront, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR), Amazon Redshift, and Amazon Glacier. While students and educators at any educational institution may join the program, those affiliated with an institution that becomes a member may receive additional AWS credits.
  • Web-based training and self-paced labs: Access to self-paced labs can help educators and students gain hands-on experience working with AWS technologies; additionally, educators receive online access to AWS Essentials courses for a thorough technical overview of AWS products and common solutions.
  • Collaboration forums: Educators and students can attend in-person and virtual events designed to help the AWS Educate community incorporate cloud technology into coursework; additionally, educators have access to a forum in which they can join discussions with other AWS Educators.
  • AWS resources: All AWS Educate members have access to a wide library of learning materials they may use in their classrooms, including webinars on best practices, instructional videos on AWS services, and customer case studies.
  • Educator content: Educators can access and share professional development materials to help them incorporate cloud technology into their coursework. Currently, AWS Educate houses over 100 educator-uploaded materials from many of the top computer science universities around the world, including Harvard University, Stanford University, and Cornell Tech. Materials include a wide range of full courses, syllabi, lectures, and homework assignments, for example: lectures, videos, and assignments from University of Pennsylvania Professor Zack Ives’ Scalable and Cloud Computing class; University of Toronto’s Eyal de Lara’s Introduction to Cloud Computing class; and University of Washington’s Magdalena Balazinska’s Introduction to Data Management class.

Dr. Majd Sakr, computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said, “Three years ago, I began incorporating AWS services into my cloud computing courses. 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. 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.”

Professor Zack Ives at the University of Pennsylvania shared complete course materials and assignments (jointly developed with his colleague, Professor Andreas Haeberlen) from two classes with AWS Educate. Professor Ives said, “I am a big believer in course projects that fully exercise what the students are learning in the class, and simultaneously demystify the popular services they use every day. We give them realistic projects, such as a full-fledged social network with friend recommendation, or building a Web crawler and search engine. AWS Educate completely changes the scope of the resources we can make available for the project — even in a large class, they see what it takes to truly harness Hadoop, cloud key-value stores, and clusters of virtual machines. This experience is imperative to giving them the ability and confidence to succeed in their future careers. I’m happy to share my coursework with the AWS Educate educator community, and look forward to learning from fellow computer science professors.”

The Los Angeles High Impact Information Technology, Entertainment & Entrepreneurship, and Communications Hubs (LA HI-TECH) is a regional consortium of eight community colleges with a mission of building and sustaining a skilled and competitive workforce that contributes to the economic growth of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). “By providing content, training resources, and access to AWS credits for students, AWS Educate helps us create clear career pathways in IT for almost 2,000 community college students,” said Dr. Patricia Ramos, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development, Santa Monica College and West Regional Hub Chair of LA HI-TECH. “Our regional consortium of eight Los Angeles-area community colleges, LA Unified School District, and four other school districts and charters, relies on access to new technology and knowledge sharing between educators to equip our students with the skills needed to succeed in a competitive workforce.”

For more information or to join AWS Educate, visit http://www.awseducate.com.

About Amazon Web Services

Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services offers a robust, fully featured technology infrastructure platform in the cloud comprised of a broad set of compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services from data center locations in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and Singapore. More than a million customers, including fast-growing startups, large enterprises, and government agencies across 190 countries, rely on AWS services to innovate quickly, lower IT costs and scale applications globally. To learn more about AWS, visit http://aws.amazon.com.

About Amazon

Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

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