Cloud computing in education: Why it's so beneficial
Author: David Howells
Date Written: 07 October 2013
Title: Cloud computing in education: Why it's so beneficial
Countless businesses around the world have been increasingly the benefits that cloud computing could provide. Whether it's for safety, security, ease of use or to boost the bottom-line figures, business chiefs in their droves have been flocking to the cloud.
This needn't mean that cloud's advantages are only limited to the business environment, however, but could instead provide huge advantages to many other sectors and industries - not least education.
Whilst uptake is still slower than with private sector businesses, schools are slowly beginning to make the move to cloud-based systems - and it's easy to see why.
One of the biggest selling points for cloud computing in the business world is its scalable cost. Cloud systems are capable of being scaled upwards or downwards, depending on requirements. They offer this flexibility to ensure users only pay for what they need or use.
Schools, of course, are put under just as much financial strain as businesses, with heads and financiers dedicating a great deal of time and effort to ensuring they can make ends meet. For this, cloud hosting provides the ideal solution, with its scalability ensuring schools don't over-spend on superfluous tech.
On a similar note, the scalable nature of cloud hosting enables schools to bring in some of the highest concept technology currently on the market, without having to pay a premium to do so.
Cost isn't the only issue that has crossed borders from the business to education world. So too has environmental efficiency, as all manner of industries and institutions look to reduce emissions and help the UK reach its ambitious targets.
In the classroom, this has manifested itself similarly to that of businesses, with a desire to go paperless. Of course, it's hard to imagine a classroom that has entirely done away with paper - and one that many people will be unhappy with - but as modules head online more than ever, cloud computing offers yet another way to move from pads to portals.
This doesn't just bring with it environmental benefits but also those relating to costs as well. With less money having to be spent on writing supplies, overheads can be greatly reduced almost overnight.
Teachers don't enter the profession because they like updating software and obtaining relevant licenses. This, instead, is a tiresome, often time-consuming issue that takes up time at schools which could be better invested elsewhere. That's not to mention the fact that teachers are trained and qualified at what they do, so should carry on as such. Tech experts specialising in back-end software, however, they may not be.
Thus, utilising technology whereby many of these issues are accounted for, should make much more effective use of teachers' time. They will not need to worry about working on old or out-of-date software that may not operate as intended, because all of this is handled straight away by tech experts at the cloud provider.
So whilst it may still be businesses leading the charge in cloud hosting uptake, there are clear benefits to show why schools may not be too far behind.