Education: Why Cloud Computing?
There are a lot of good reasons why schools, both in the lower and higher education sectors, should adopt cloud computing and embed such into their systems. In this article, we are going to talk about the different benefits, as well as some of the disadvantages and limitations of using cloud computing. However, it is but unwise and illogical to go on with the aforementioned subjects without understanding the meaning of the word ‘cloud computing.’
Briefly defined, cloud computing has a lot to do with the internet. In fact, the internet has been referred to as ‘cloud’ in recent years because, after all, everyone can access it. Cloud computing has actually evolved from the original concept of the internet, and its purpose has been made broader. Basically, cloud computing allows people to access the internet and most – if not all – of its resources anywhere and anytime.
Lawrence Cruz, a writer for Associated Press, defines cloud computing in less technical manner. For Cruz (2011), cloud computing is a collection of applications and technologies which can be accessed and manipulated by a large number of users in real time.
In the field of education, cloud computing is very practical for a variety of reasons. Indeed, cloud computing will enable a certain educational institution to actually make use of the global internet resources for data analysis and data storage (http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/solutions/Pages/cloud_computing.aspx). Furthermore, the world today is, quite literally, run by the cloud and and cloud-connected technologies. As such, to work independently from this fact is to work with futility.
So, what are the benefits of cloud computing to the educational institutions which implement it?
Here is a list of advantages or benefits as provided by Mircea and Andreescu (2011):
- Cloud computing allows institutions to access real time information from anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. In the field of education, this is pretty important as it gives the teachers and the learners to constantly update their stock of information.
- Cloud computing allows teachers and learners to access applications and other useful tools for free.
- Basically, this technology is a particularly new one and, because of this, it is not only efficient, it is also environment-friendly.
- Because cloud computing allows for interconnectivity, students are exposed to openness. In other words, they are able to experience and feel what it is like in the real world. As such, they will be able to learn things more decently and more effectively because the entire learning process is facilitated by a teacher or a mentor.
The advantages mentioned above are already enough to convince anyone why our schools need to have cloud computing. However, it must be sufficiently understood that the main benefits of the cloud are to be felt by the schools’ number one clients: the learners. Basically, cloud computing will aid the school attain its most crucial goal which is the equal delivery of educational services to each and every learner (http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?articleId=460910).
Basically, cloud computing will enable learners to formally undergo education even without going to the four-walled classrooms. For families who travel a lot, cloud computing will allow their children to travel with them, while continually learning lessons, submitting assignment, and getting grades.
By Cenon Gaytos