Cloud Computing: Its Implications on Education
Cloud computing is something which has become popular in almost all aspects of our lives. Indeed, it has even attracted the attention by the people in the academe, more specifically, in the field of education. But there is really no need to be surprised about it; in fact, some authorities have predicted this to happen.
The Economist, a well known journal in global circulation, once said that Cloud computing is something that will ‘get geeks excited.’ According to the journal, cloud computing will definitely affect the lives of everyone.
So, what is cloud computing in the first place? For sure, most of us must have heard about in from the media or from friends. But, the truth of the matter is that we do not really know what it precisely means. According to researches, there are, as of the moment, 28 definitions of the term cloud computing. Basically, however, cloud computing has something to do with the ‘virtual servers’ that we can all find and access in the internet (Knorr, Gruman, http://www.infoworld.com/d/cloud-computing/what-cloud-computing-really-means-031). In other words, we are actually making use of the technology without even knowing what it is or what it does.
What, then, is the implication of this technology to the field of education? In what ways can teachers and learners alike benefit from the graces of the marvel of the 21st century?
First, let us try to discuss some of the benefits that schools and universities can get with the use of cloud computing as stated by none other than the software colossus, Microsoft:
- Basically, the first important advantage that this technological evolution can grant our centers of education is the advantage of flexibility. This means that the IT departments of any school adopting this technology will have the unprecedented capability to adjust its system depending on the needs of the learners. Of course, this is actually pretty general.
- Initially, setting up the technology will cost schools a lot. This is the very reason why there are very few schools in the less-developed world which have this capability. Should a school decide to acquire one, however, the staff and the administration must be ready to hand in a lot of money and resources. However, it will all be worth it for in the long run, the cloud computing system will pay for itself.
- Through cloud computing, the schools will be able to share valuable data with each other without necessarily putting at risk their sensitive and classified information.
The aforementioned advantages are, as a matter of fact, the key reasons why schools with limited budgets still strive to get hold of the technology. There is, after all, no denying that cloud computing is not merely investing on the future, cloud computing is, by itself, the present and the future.
With the cloud computing set up in the school or university, the learners and the teachers will be able to interact with each other, they would be able to share information, and they would be able to develop their analytical skills as they are provided with all kinds of information made available by the internet.
However, as Katz in her ebook entitled ‘The Tower and the Cloud (2009), it is but advisable that each and every one of us remains vigilant. After all, cloud computing is largely an untamed unicorn: it can take you to great heights in as much as it can destroy you entirely.
By Cenon Gaytos