Cloud computing: Empowering the education industry
Over the years, the education industry has come a long way. Teaching and learning are no longer confined to textbooks and classrooms and now reaches computers and mobile devices. Today, learners are always connected — whether they are on or off school grounds. At the same time, the right technologies empower them with real-world and career-ready skills. Technology plays a massive role in this disruptive change.
Who could have ever imagined that a student in one part of the world would be able to pursue a course in a college located thousands of miles away? One of the technologies that drive innovation for this industry is cloud computing. Essentially, cloud computing is a complex technology that shifts the emphases from physical resources to virtual ones. If you want to understand its impact on the education landscape, you need to know what cloud computing is and how it actually works.
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Cloud computing: How does it bring innovation in education?
Cloud computing refers to a setup of computing resources that can be shared anywhere, irrespective of the location of the users. By implementing cloud computing, it becomes possible to bring teachers and learners together on a single, unified platform. Educational organizations such as schools, colleges, and universities need not buy, own, and maintain their own servers and data centers. Rather, they can leverage cloud computing to avail compute power, databases, storage, and other services when they need them. Additionally, they can always be sure about their resources being secure on the cloud. Let us elaborate on the extensive benefits of cloud computing in the field of education.
1. Strong virtual classroom environments
With cloud-based software, it becomes possible for educational organizations to have virtual classrooms for the students. The concept reduces the infrastructural costs to a considerable extent. They can even reduce the expenses of onboarding regular teachers in their faculty. Rather, they can collaborate with skilled trainers who work remotely and serve as cost-effective resources. At the same time, teachers can create and deliver online courses to students anywhere. Students can even appear for virtual exams, saving their time and expenses effectively.
2. Ease of accessibility
The potential of the cloud is unmatched when it comes to accessibility. Users can easily access the course content, applications, and data anytime and anywhere. They can enroll in courses and participate in group activities as well. The barriers of place and time no longer exist the cloud ensures seamless delivery of content at all times. What’s more, it even sends across content on mobile devices so that students can easily learn even while on the go.
3. Extensive cost-savings
Another benefit of cloud computing that you cannot ignore is extensive cost savings. Both learners and providers can experience big benefits in this context. Students need not invest in expensive books and applications as these learning resources are available on the cloud. Providers too can lower the management costs by simplifying processes such as enrollment and assignment tracking. And of course, the infrastructural costs reduce too, as explained before. The best part about cloud computing is that you pay as you go, which makes it cost-effective.
4. Secure data storage
Besides accessibility and cost savings, cloud computing also serves the benefit of secure data storage. Organizations that deliver learning through the cloud can adopt a VPN for ensuring data security. VPN protocols such as IKEv2 are responsible for the automatic encryption of outgoing data and traffic. This means that the learning content can be easily transferred to the users without compromising its integrity. At the same time, learners can protect their privacy by using VPN for cloud-based learning applications.
Scalability refers to the ability of the applications to match the growing numbers of users. Cloud computing covers the schools, colleges, and universities on this front as well. It enables them to scale up the learning applications and experiences quickly and easily. As a result, they can handle an increasing number of students. Additionally, scalability also helps them to manage the usage peaks and traffic spikes caused due to events like training registrations and assignment submissions. Similarly, they can scale down instantly during the low activity period to prevent wastage of resources.
6. Agility and innovation
Another way learning providers can benefit from cloud computing is through agility and innovation. It gives them the ability to experiment faster and more frequently. Consequently, they can innovate to create better learning experiences for the students. This becomes possible because new tools and features can be developed, tested, and deployed in the applications to make them better than before.
7. Greater reach for the students
Cloud computing in the education industry brings the opportunity for the students to expand their horizons. Those who are not happy with the traditional learning systems can now explore the new concept of online education. This works wonders for students who want to opt for remote learning or even pursue courses overseas. Working professionals who are unable to attend conventional classes but want to upgrade their skills can also take virtual classes.
8. Minimal hardware requirements
With cloud-based applications, the requirements of hardware resources are minimal. These applications can operate seamlessly on internet browsers, both on desktops and mobile devices. Students can manage to learn with the mobile phone that they own. There is no need to invest in an expensive computer for taking the course. Additionally, they do not require external storage devices because they get access to free cloud-based storage. Learning could not get simpler than this!
The benefits of cloud computing for the education sector are immense. It does not come as a surprise that major providers in the industry are fast embracing cloud tech so that they can enhance the services they deliver. Simultaneously, the cloud is emerging as the best option for the students as well. Nothing matches the convenience of accessing learning at the fingertips and cloud tech makes it possible. Whether it is a large university, a small school or a student, everyone in the industry is experiencing the positive impact of the cloud and things are going to get bigger and better in the future.
Walter Stone has gained huge popularity amongst the industry experts and critics. He has been contributing his knowledge in helping Outreach Monks, working as a content marketer for their clients.