Cloud computing is most often discussed in relation to businesses, but its impact extends beyond individual organizations. In corporate settings implementation of cloud strategies depends upon the necessities of a particular business and upon a manager’s decision. In other areas it might be much more difficult to implement cloud solutions as this could have more wide-reaching consequences. This is the case with education.
What is cloud computing?
The concept of cloud increasingly gains in importance in contemporary technological developments. It is difficult to give an exact and complete definition of cloud computing as it encompasses many different services. Generally it is referred to as any service delivered via the Internet. Even though cloud computing is not a new trend, it is now seen as a technological hype. The features of online services now evolved to such an extent that they improve almost every aspect of our lives.
Education and technology
Education is an old concept, but it has always had to change simultaneously to the changes in society. Contemporary society now relies to technology and the Internet in majority of aspects and education system has to follow those changes. As technology develops, traditional ways of learning and teaching simply become inappropriate in both elementary and higher education.
Cloud computing is able to transform traditional classrooms and create more open and collaborative environment. Student mobility is widespread and the students regularly have to work with their colleagues who are not necessarily in the same state or even in the same country. Online services facilitated collaboration between geographically distant people. They offer a variety of features on demand and provide apps and processing power that are not physically related to local device. These apps provide resources for creating online workspaces or virtual classrooms, thus enabling students to collaborate regardless of their geographical distance.
Information sharing and collaboration
Data transfer and sharing is much simpler which contributes to longevity of the information. Certain cloud storage apps allow people to look at the document and edit it simultaneously which enables real-time information transfer. Services are simple and their usage saves student’s time and enhances his or her productivity. Besides this, educational institutions can move their massive archives to the cloud and create a more efficient storage system. This enhances data management and at the same time creates valuable virtual resources.
Education systems often find great solutions but are unable to implement them because of budget limitations. This is especially related to underdeveloped countries where the government simply cannot invest in education as much as necessary and usually ignoring the possibility of alternative educational possibilities, like online education and courses. With cloud technologies this is not the case. Very implementation of the services is quite cheap and, perhaps more importantly, cloud saves money in the long run. It cuts overall IT costs by eliminating necessity for hardware which translates into more cost-beneficial and more efficient operations.
Cloud computing solutions for education
Microsoft launched their cloud computing solution specifically intended for education. The solution is powerful software that delivers massive resources suitable for usage in education whenever a user needs them. The services include online storage and applications that have positive impact on education in terms of cost, flexibility and accessibility. Besides Microsoft, Dell also launched cloud computing learning platform this year.
Cloud computing is seen as a technology trend that changes our everyday lives. Conservatives might stand up against technology interfering traditional education to such an extent. But the truth is obvious -the way we live changes and so does the way we learn and teach. Educational institutions should keep a pace with technological developments and embrace any solution that could improve outdated teaching and learning systems.