Cloud Computing: A Quiet Game Changer In Education?
Cloud computing or simply ‘the cloud’ as is often referred to in IT circles, is increasingly changing the education landscape. Many classroom educators didn’t see this coming, safe of course for a selected few technology professors who have consistently sought to bring the light of cloud to the academia. But isn’t this the beauty of technology? It sneaks into hitherto organized systems, rips them apart, and creates new opportunities that only the wise can grab upfront and walk to the bank.
This is the exact kind of ‘harm’ that cloud computing is posing to traditional education systems. We have already witnessed the rise of virtual learning centers, personal learning, and the all-popular long-distance learning. Thanks to could computing, students from different locations around the world can collaborate on assignments, rendering them interactive among their peers in education.
The ability to bring together students and teachers via a device and enable them to accomplish entire learning tasks as if they were together in one classroom is not very far from ‘magical.’ Yet this is not even the entire capability of the cloud effect in education. There is the whole aspect of ‘information durability’ which allows information to be stored in the cloud for as long as the universe remains active. What if Archimedes of Syracuse was somehow able to upload videos of his findings in YouTube or some supportive cloud computing environment?
Many schools have moved their resources online with libraries filled with hundreds of thousands of books that students can access at any time. The advent of online video has made the idea of cloud in education even more exciting because schools can produce teaching videos in any subject, upload them to their libraries in the cloud, and make them available to their students. This alone is a game-changing possibility that dedicated educators cannot ignore and hope to compete with in this sector. Luckily such opportunities are within the reach of any learning institution
The cloud is also taking learning opportunities to those who have never gone through the traditional education system or indeed those who never quite finished their course at the right time, perhaps for lack of resources. If someone never finished their degree or diploma course, they have all the chances to obtain diplomas and degrees through cloud learning systems. Meanwhile, people changing countries in search of new opportunities can carry on with their education right from the cloud.
We’re not shy to mention that there are still countless challenges that cloud computing is dealing with, whether in normal business or education. But the pace of adoption of the cloud into the learning environment is sufficient proof that the rules of traditional learning are undergoing a revolution that is dominantly inspired by the cloud space. The changes can only grow because the amount of cloud innovation we are experiencing is phenomenal.
By John Omwamba