Cloud computing and the future of education

Posted on Monday, 1/27/2014 1:09 PM
 

With more educational institutions embracing online learning and the opportunities it provides, educators are looking for better ways in which to use this technology moving forward. One such technology, cloud computing, offers a way for teachers to revolutionize how they provide and share information with their students. Cloud-based technology, including email, video sharing and large data hosting sites, allows teachers to digitally store resources, documents and important learning items for students to access whenever they need them. As schools become more apt to adopting this technology, there are several considerations to be made.  

Opportunities
Cloud computing offers many amenities local servers do not provide institutions, such as the easy accessibility of information from any location. Students from all around the globe can download or utilize items stored in the cloud, something not provided by smaller networks. USA Today recently highlighted cloud computing in the classroom, and emphasized how students can interact with peers and teachers remotely, accessing resources and receiving help as quickly as they need it. 

Flexibility is another key factor of cloud computing as users are constantly adding, changing and enhancing items found in the cloud. This student software also allows for the upgrade and installation of new technology through virtual means, instead of institutions having to manually install new items on all platforms. IT ProPortal recently spoke to an HP representative at Bett 2014, a large learning technology expo that takes place in London. The representative explained how cloud computing had the opportunity to change how information is accessed in the classroom, from the ease with which users can interact with it to the large storage capabilities it provides. 

"It's the flexibility of not necessarily needing someone on site who is an expert in the system, because it's heavily virtualized and automated," he said to the source. 

Privacy
As institutions continue to place more student and teacher information online, privacy concerns have sprouted among concerned individuals. However, the HP representative assured IT ProPortal that as long as schools invest in private cloud technology and monitor the security of their data, there should be no problems. Additionally, schools that have embraced the technology have already begun to implement rules and guidelines for users so as to protect information as best as they can.

Future of cloud computing
Cloud technology has the opportunity to engage parents, teachers and students in the learning experience, connecting all three under one digital platform. As digital forms of education continue to rise in popularity, such as the blended or virtual classroom, cloud technology provides the means through which teachers can digitally provide learning information to their students.

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