Implementing SaaS in Education in the United States
The United States has always encountered problems with regards to the competitiveness of its population. Indeed, this particular problem has been even more emphasized today, especially with the crushingly intense global competition. Fortunately, Software-as-as-Service (SaaS) tools, along with other cloud computing services have dramatically grown in the last couple of years which have, so far, been sufficient to fill up the needs of the schools (Kaplan, 2010).
According to Kaplan, the United States’ government has been aggressively criticized by some organizations and politicians for not doing much to solve the decline of the standard of education in the country. Indeed, it is highly ironic, even paradoxical, that a country as rich as the United States, is unable to effectively raise the quality of education to the highest level possible.
However, it must be understood well that there are several factors at play in the molding of the population. In other words, there are several things which affect the overall quality of education. Sure, teachers and other facilities are particularly important. But, there are other factors which can also significantly affect the manner and the degree through which learners actually learn. In fact, schools in the country, or anywhere in the world for that matter, need to have highly efficient systems and databases which will allow the teachers and school administrators to perform their functions more efficiently (Kaplan, 2010).
It is very fortunate that most educational institutions in the country have recognized the need to actually integrate and employ SaaS into their systems. In fact, according to a survey conducted last 2009, more than half of all participating schools were using SaaS.
One interesting SaaS innovation which is highly favored by some prominent schools and universities in the country is the Google Apps. According to a survey conducted by the software giant, Google, 61 of the top 100 universities in the United States as well as in Europe are actually making use of the applications developed by Google for the education sector. Indeed, this software is able to teach learners a great deal of things about how the actual world works – both in the real and the digital sense. Learning about how the real world really works would have been an utter impossibility without the application of these Google SaaS systems.
It is also very fortunate that the vast majority of the new and young teachers currently employed in the schools in the United States are highly competent with the use of these applications. With their expertise, coupled with the inherent curiosity of the learners and the unique and practical app designs by Google, learning in these US schools are more effective than the others.
They are, in fact, so effective at the delivery of basic services that the New York government actually passed a bill which would guarantee total state support to the procurement and maintenance of SaaS systems in the top performing schools in the said state.
Of course, Google apps still has a long way to go before they reach true education-based software. For now, however, the system that they have will definitely make things better for schools and their clients.
By Cenon Gaytos