The Downside of Cloud Computing in Education
Cloud computing, in recent years, has become the focus of intense educational debates and arguments. Basically, cloud computing is one of the top products of the latest internet technology. As such, just like much of the products of the era, this technological breakthrough carries with it so much potential. In fact, cloud computing has been used even by the education sector in order to make the delivery of their services more effective and efficient.
However, there have been some questions about the overall effect of the technology to the educational system. While it is true that cloud computing has been largely beneficial to the business sector, there have been some doubts regarding its effectiveness in the education area. After all, education (particularly higher education) is entirely different from business.
In this article, we are going to talk about some arguments of some important educational and IT experts regarding their view on the total impact of cloud computing on education. One technical authority, Bruce Schneier (2009), mentioned in one of his books that cloud computing is not really a new technology. According to him, this is simply the modified version of a 50-decade model software which has been made totally worthless with the arrival of the personal computers. He added that almost everything that outsources in the internet is cloud computing.
According to Scheiener, the most important advantage of the cloud computing in the field of education is the fact that educational institutions can save a great deal of monetary resources with it. After all, they have a technology that would only need to be paid when it is to be used, and, most importantly, they have at the tip of their fingers a software that need no manual updating; as such, they spend less money for it.
However, there are some limitations that are worth mentioning when it comes to the use of cloud computing in the higher education sector (Miller, 2009).
- Cloud computing needs a constant and fast internet connection. Basically, this is a very modern technological advance. And, like all of the other advances, it cannot really work independently without the internet. In other words, the absence of the internet would totally hamper important transactions and processes.
- The second debatable issue regarding cloud computing is the fact that data stored here are not completely secured. Because of the fact that data is stored online, it would mean that these data would be susceptible to theft and hacking. The bottom-line here is that cloud computing can, at the very least, expose your system and database to harmful elements.
Well, how serious is this threat? Generally, this is a very serious and a very real threat. As we all might know already, a lot of the websites are susceptible to infiltration. There are relatively few sites that are immune from hacking, since even the most protected websites can be pinned down by the most determined hackers.
Cloud computing, according to experts, actually raises this danger level by a lot of percent. Because cloud computing connects all important databases to the internet, it would mean that important data are also exposed.
However, it is must be understood that cloud computing will not be this sickly forever. According to Schneier, as cited by Harrison (2009), cloud computing still holds a lot of promise. And, definitely, it will have a very important role in the near future, a role that would not be threatened by external elements.
By Cenon Gaytos