In a time when industries strive for greater global connectivity, flexibility, and economy all at once, cloud computing appears to check all the boxes. Shifting attitudes combined with global events such as the pandemic have contributed to more and more industries leveraging cloud-based technologies. The education sector is one of the industries reaping immense benefits from this change.
The market for cloud computing in education is projected to reach USD 8,779.1 Million by 2027. With institutions around the world looking for cost-cutting measures, the idea of investing in personal, on-site data centers and servers is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
The popularity of cloud computing can be explained by the many benefits it provides to educational institutions. Let’s take a look!
What Does Cloud Computing in Education Look Like?
Cloud technology involves storing data and managing content using the internet on virtual servers, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more. Instead of institutions investing in dedicated, custom-made data centers, they leverage shared servers which can be accessed remotely.
In the education sector, this means storing and accessing student information and course content, or leveraging software for managing lessons, emails, calendars, and much more. Institutions can access these resources via a username and password, on top of additional security features.
Students, teachers, and administrators can all access the cloud platform though they may have different permissions set up for their particular roles. In this way, a virtual, centralized platform can be used to manage the institutions’ needs.
The Benefits of Cloud Technology in Education
One of the biggest advantages of cloud technology is the significantly reduced cost for the providers. Not only do institutions save on infrastructure costs of hosting their own servers, but they also reduce managerial and administrative costs of keeping them functioning. Additionally, a minimal IT staff is kept on hand to resolve occasional technical issues that may arise.
Cloud computing also means low costs for students since they would not need to buy expensive books or software, and can instead rely on cloud-based resources that are generally cheaper and widely available. Even lower hardware costs are seen with the adoption of cloud technologies since most users already have access to mobile devices like smartphones or laptops.
Other costs incurred with data protection and management, like backup power sources and data restoration, are the product of an increasingly secure, digital world. With cloud technology, services like these and more are provided at scale directly by cloud storage providers.
Having most of the educational materials available online means that a stronger virtual classroom environment can be created. Students can access educational materials from anywhere and have the flexibility to go through the course content at their own pace. Learning can also be made asynchronous and learners can create dedicated learning paths that best suit their needs.
Best of all, with so many resources available online, there is little need to carry heavy textbooks around, making it possible to learn on the go.
With the help of security protocols in place, cloud computing ensures the security of student data as well as course materials. With security features like Single Sign On and End-To-End encryption, users can access data from anywhere without compromising its integrity.
Additionally, in the event that a user damages or loses their device, their data is secure in the cloud and can be downloaded on a new device without much disruption.
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Reaches a Global Learning Audience
With cloud computing in education gaining more popularity than ever, many global audiences have been introduced to educational materials that were previously limited geographically. Students can take distance learning programs from well-known universities without leaving their home country. At the same time, universities can provide more diverse course materials thanks to a more global faculty.
The avenues for cross-cultural collaboration and exchange of ideas can increase dramatically if cloud technology is tapped to its fullest potential.
Learning materials need to be updated consistently. In a traditional learning environment, students would have to invest in new textbook editions or learn from multiple sources or appendices which can be extremely difficult to keep track of.
In a cloud-based platform, instructors can add newly updated material, including lessons and textbooks online without a lot of effort. At the same time, students can access the updated material instantaneously, without having to purchase more resources.
It may seem daunting for a small-scale enterprise to invest big in data centers or servers that they may not use to their fullest potential. For this reason, many choose to go for cloud-based alternatives that can be scaled according to the size of the organization. Not to mention, these institutions are not bound to a specific size of the platform and can expand their use according to their needs. In short, an organization can scale its cloud-based platform as it grows.
Get Started Today
The rising popularity of cloud computing in education can be attributed to its low-cost, quick setup, and ability to reach people around the world. Many organizations are turning to cloud computing and the trend only seems to go upward.
If the SaaS LMS transition to cloud technology may seem daunting to you, it would be helpful to talk to professionals. Edly’s team of experts can help you incorporate cloud-based technologies in your institution. Get in touch with us today and request a free demo!