Covid-19 caused a big shift to the cloud. However, I must admit that even without the pandemic, cloud-based tools were surging in popularity. Cloud computing-based technologies are one of the demanded and actively developing areas of the modern IT world. The use of cloud technologies in the educational process is becoming more and more popular and opens up many opportunities, both for educational institutions, teachers, and students. Educational-oriented cloud technologies are predicted to hit $25 billion by 2021.
So what does it mean for modern and future education-development and what are the main benefits of cloud technologies in education?
Examples of the Application of Cloud Technologies in Education
In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular cloud-based programs used in education.
Google Classroom is a cloud-based learning management system that is a part of Google Apps for Education. Google Classroom enables students to access the platform from computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Blackboard provides education, mobile, communication, and commerce software and related services to clients, including education providers, corporations, and government organizations. In January 2014, its software and services are used by approximately 17,000 schools and organizations in 100 countries
Knowledge Matters is a leading cloud-based virtual business online interactive, game-like business simulations teach college and high school students key business lessons.
In my opinion, the most widely known education platform. On Coursera, you get access to a wide range of disciplines. There is hardly any student in the USA, Canada, Thailand, Russia, and Ukraine who is not aware of an opportunity to get precious knowledge with Coursera.
Microsoft Education Center
Microsoft Education Center is created to let students continue obtaining knowledge no matter what. They facilitate online learning and deliver the best education straight to every student.
Classflow is a cloud-based interactive display lesson delivery software. They provide the users with access to lessons and learning resources 24/7 with no obligatory subscription.
Benefits of Cloud Technologies in Modern Education
Let’s start with the benefits that teachers face with the implementation of cloud technologies in the modern education system. First of all, teachers gain higher chances to attract the attention of a student making the education process fun. School teachers as well as university professors are able to prepare online tests, create better content, and communicate with students online.
Cloud technologies help also cover a wider audience of students and manage their process of studying. Assess the tests, homework, projects taken by students, sending the feedback has never been that easy.
Administrators, in their turn, can easily collaborate with one another and save money and time on the problem-solving process. Cloud technologies make it fast and in re.
Access to Information
According to Network providers, the Internet is available 99.9% of the time which is very convenient for all participants of the educational process. This aspect should be investigated deeper by explaining several aspects.
First, both students and teachers can realize learning opportunities practically at any time, not depending on local information and educational resources institutions. As a result, this leads to tremendous time savings. Besides, constant availability removes barriers to access to information for students who are physically unable to attend classes in person. Since the cloud-based application for e-learning runs with cloud power, the software is automatically updated in the cloud source. Elearners get updates fast.
Second, sharing notes has never been easier. Handwriting notes are taken from a mate first needed to be copied manually or photocopied. Cloud technologies have changed it forever. Now you can share or receive notes from every area covered with the Internet connection.
Third, data safety is no longer a problem since they’re all gathered and stored on the cloud, you don’t need to bother with keeping everything on your PC.
Online Education Courses
Online Education Courses have been booming during recent years. It’s not only about Coursera (that we’ll discuss later) but also about education courses not connected to school, college, or university education. With cloud technologies, every one of us has an access to online SMM, SEO, IT (and HTML cheat sheets) courses, Instagram online courses
(the majority of which are like purchasing the air, no offense), and other courses that improve your employability.
Speaking of Coursera, this is, by far, the largest project in the sphere of online education developed in 2012. By 2017, the service could boast of 24 million attracted visitors. The project includes courses in physics, engineering disciplines, humanities and arts, medicine, biology, mathematics, computer science, economics, and business. Coursera runs on the Nginx web server on Linux machines rented from Amazon Web Services. The data is stored in Amazon S3 and the site is searched using Amazon CloudSearch.
Education is not the only sphere that successfully integrates cloud technologies. Businesses are now widely adopting the cloud computing model spending less money, acquiring flexibility, and advanced security. This has given a powerful impulse for cloud computing to develop.
Nowadays, education using cloud technologies can compete with the traditional educational process. We also shouldn’t forget that cloud technologies make high-quality self-education possible. Employers are no more suspicious about potential workers who prefer e-learning instead of attending classes and eagerly offer them prestigious job positions.
Reduced Time and Costs
No Need For Expensive Hardware
Since the main concept of cloud technologies means connecting to cloud-based applications, neither students nor teachers have a need for specific devices to access the material. Cloud-based programs are perfectly compatible with any device. Even the cheap smartphone allows you to connect to related academic applications.
No Need For Expensive Software
The SaaS model is considered to be one of the biggest advantages of cloud-based computing. It’s common for software applications to be available for students for low-fee or free basis making the education affordable for most students.
Saving Money on Expensive Textbooks
It’s a commonly known fact that university-level textbooks are an expensive pleasure. They have outpaced almost any other element of the university involved in university education including tuition fees. This results in more and more students refraining from buying them. Cloud-based textbooks are the only solution to this problem. Digital books are usually less expensive. Hence, lower-income students are also able to gain access to high learning quality. Implementation of cloud technologies eliminates financial inequality putting students of all status into the same educational environment.
The worldwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic made us oversee the concept of e-learning. Cloud computing is widely used in businesses, is also a must-have in the education process. Cloud technologies make education a simple and fun experience for participants from both sides of the learning process. Students, professors, and teachers are now able to appreciate the accessibility and ease of cloud-based education.
Yet cloud applications and the opportunities that they provide in the educational process are endless, summing up, I would like to identify the most relevant advantages of the “cloud”. These are improved accessibility, administration, high competitiveness, time, and money-saving. The instant feedback, precious information, and low-cost textbooks make high-class education available for everyone.