By: Cesilia Faustina
Schools and higher education have gone through many changes throughout the years. Now change is even more prominent with a new change of lifestyle. As years have passed, we have witnessed an increased rate of blended learning across various educational institutions, which have created greater demands for education technology.
This change, especially with the world going through lockdown, has led for the demand of online education and Cloud computing in the education sector. More than ever now, I think it is safe to say that the Cloud is something highly needed in the midst of the corona outbreak. Corona aside though, the Cloud has been a worthy tool way before online education became cool.
Many companies and corporations have realized the benefit of the Cloud as a powerful data storage platform and most corporations today rely on the Cloud, which is no surprise that the education sector soon followed. And with education technology becoming more important in the digital age, so has the Cloud.
One instance of Cloud usage in schools may be seen from Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Dropbox, where Dropbox had announced to provide a cloud based storage solution to more than 640,000 students and 30,000 teachers across 900 LAUSD schools. This is just one of many cases of schools or higher education institutions’ use of a Cloud platform, that said, we are witnessing a new norm with the increasing relationship of the Cloud and education.
So, the Cloud is becoming more of a big deal and with that, it’s time to elaborate on some of the impacts the Cloud has had on the education sector.
One of the greatest benefits of the Cloud is its accessibility. The Cloud provides virtual storage that can be accessed anytime anywhere by the students and staffs. They can also enrol in courses, build online communities, submit assignments and more, all through a digital platform. The Cloud makes it so much easier for students to handle their day-to-day activities and teachers to monitor the students and perform their work rituals as well.
As the only thing that the users require is a computer/device and internet, students can have more convenience in accessing the required education resources and content without having to physically go from one place to the next.
Conducive virtual classroom atmosphere
Many Cloud-based software provide an e-learning experience for students, where it supports a virtual classroom with all the necessary modules and study materials. This also includes things like online exams and online grading or results; such a situation can help to reduce the cost for many educational institutions, it might also create a more productive environment for the students.
Classes through digital classroom work as a great solution in today’s modern times. It won’t solely help to save cost, but also has proven to be a great solution in times of crisis and create a close-knit community even outside of the classroom.
Secure data storage
Cloud computing provides a powerful data storage to deliver all essential education materials. The point of the Cloud is to have your data and information available online, this is done in order to ensure you have a backup of your existing data; this is crucial in order to keep a smooth flow of your education process running. We can make an example of the current corona pandemic, forcing everybody to study and work from home. In order to keep the work/study process efficiently going, people are going to need access to their existing data, which is why it is so important to have backup storage these days.
With help from the Cloud, people will be able to continue their studies or workflow without worrying about any lost material or data. It has created an always-ready environment that is ready for use anytime anywhere. And yes, with data in the Cloud does come more cybersecurity risks, but most Cloud systems today had the same thought and most provide a powerful security system to keep all data safe.
Flexibility in use
The flexibility of the Cloud makes it easier for educational institutions to support the rising number of student and/or users. We can only expect that schools, colleges, training facilities and more will likely to fluctuate in its students every year. Using a Cloud system will make it easier to handle those numbers, as well as save up storage in the process. When a Cloud system is being used, it can save storage during times of low usage and support peak usage as well, such as when training registrations and assignment submissions are due. On top of that, Cloud systems are easily upgradeable to suit your personalized education needs.
In terms of educational institutions, it works great for constantly changing usage and the number of students involved.
Reduce time and costs
Moving into the Cloud can have many financial benefits to the institution of choice. Not only does it save resources, but also the energy of manual processes. With the Cloud, schools, universities or training institutes can get more than with less time and cost. The energy needed to handle registrations, assignments, commute and more will be saved and reduced. It also means that educational institutions will be able to get tasks done faster with a direct and automated process.
As education is becoming more tech-savvy, the need for Cloud computing in education is increasing. These are just a few points on how the Cloud is changing the education landscape, with many more to come. So as society is going through transformation, so is an industry, and knowing you can get ahead with some help from the Cloud can go a long way.