What is a ‘Content Cloud’?
A content cloud is information available on the web grouped by context, including target audience, relevant competencies, and other pertinent metadata. The cloud is built using multiple documents and multimedia resources that have been semantically marked up at the most granular level, and then served up to the user as a single repository of content and related media assets.
Content cloud users have the ability to assemble the information within the cloud in any sequence and available format that they would like, regardless of where the information is initially drawn from. Formats available to the content cloud user are eLearning, mobile and PDF. The branding of each modality can be customized to the respective organization that has implemented the content cloud without regard to the actual quantity of content.
Why a ‘Content Cloud’
Why do people use Google®? People use Google to solve problems and gather information at the time at which they need it. The success of Google® is based on intrinsic user motivation expressed as interest. The ability to plug in a search term and generate results that are specific to my request within seconds has revolutionized access to information and most importantly OUR OWN EXPECTATIONS for how we want to learn. Google’s® shortcoming is that it can only draw links for you and reveals results within many different entities that you are then required to explore and vet for yourself.
A content cloud will not only display results of searches but will allow you to aggregate materials together as a single resource that you can either refer to at a later date or reference at the time of need. Content clouds also have smart device interface designs that will pre-filter relevant content based on the device you are using to access the cloud. In most cases this applies to mobile devices where the cloud will only draw on mobile ready content when returning to the user relevant search results.
When would content clouds be used?
It is hard to imagine a more prolific performance support tool than the web itself. Content clouds are used in much the same way, in that they provide individuals access to content at the moment of need and in a context relevant manner. The most immediate use case is to support the performance of employees on the job. In thinking about this phrasing, we are not precluding using clouds for ‘training’ in the conventional sense. We are leaving the door open to the notion that training may very well be a function of performance support (operationally speaking) and that using the cloud to train, would be done so at the moment of need.
Other uses of the cloud can take place on the learning administration side where the cloud is used to assemble curricula and training programs by facilitators or content administrators and then handed over to the users or loaded on to an LMS. The cloud performs the same way as previous, the only difference is an operational one at the organization level.