Top 5 education apps that will be developed in the Cloud with Windows Azure

Walking down the corridor after I wrote about the Windows Azure DevCamps this morning, a colleague who’d read the post asked me what kind of apps would be developed next in the Windows Azure Cloud for education. So I reeled off the list of apps that I think we’ll see. And he told me that the blog post would have been improved if I’d suggested those ideas. (Boom, direct feedback, right there…)

So as well as remembering that feedback for next time, I thought I’d share the list. These are the next wave of things I think we’re going to see as apps developed for teachers to use, linked to the Azure cloud. And I think these are the kind of things that teachers/school will just buy as a small app, and use it themselves – as well as potentially apps that a whole school or system will use.

And the reason I think they’ll be developed using the Cloud is that teachers need to have access at home as well as at school – because when you’re writing up your school reports, you want this stuff to hand – it’s no good if it’s locked inside a corporate system and you can’t get it when you need it. And you’re more likely to be sitting writing your reports in front of the telly, with sideways glances at the finals of The Voice, than sitting behind a desk at school. So you need to have the info right there – and the Cloud gives you a way to have it wherever you are.

So here’s the top 5 education apps I think we’re going to see next:

  • A simple Attendance app for teachers (and which sends the info across to multiple student admin systems)
  • Behaviour recording app for teachers (a dead simple smile/frown style app, with an ability to record specifics)
  • Grading/markbook app for teacher (because every teachers has their own physical book or Excel spreadsheet, that could be better)
  • Teacher Organiser (linking timetable, curriculum materials, links to web resources, and the curriculum structure)
  • Note taking (well, I reckon we’ve already got that with OneNote, which syncs through the Cloud, but there’s still room for more)

I don’t believe any of these are big and complex, massively long projects. And with the Cloud providing the infrastructure for it, they’re even easier. Oh, and when the online Windows Store comes along later this year, there will also be a way to reach an audience of half a billion PCs to sell this kind of software easily Smile