Cloud computing, once used primarily in technology and technology-related businesses, has been increasingly adopted by businesses in non-technology related fields. In fact, one of the sectors that has seen a huge growth in cloud computing adoption over the past several years is education. Educational institutions are rapidly ditching traditional classroom-based learning systems in favor of cloud-based systems and strategies. It is estimated that between 2017 and 2021, the cloud computing market in education will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of at least 26%.
When asked, educational institutions have offered a variety of reasons behind their decision to switch over to the cloud; discussed below are five of these reasons.
1) ENHANCED COLLABORATIVE AND INTERACTIVE LEARNING
Some classes require a significant amount of collaborative work by the students. This can sometimes be a challenge because of the logistics involved in getting all the relevant parties together. Cloud computing greatly simplifies the logistics involved in collaborative work. Since the relevant information is stored in the cloud and not at any specific physical site, it can be therefore be easily accessed as well as retrieved at any time from any geographical location by any of the students involved in the collaborative work.
2) HARDWARE COST REDUCTION
Setting up and maintaining an on-ground network is a very costly endeavor; there are costs associated with purchasing or leasing the required space, purchasing the required hardware and software, and hiring the necessary personnel to maintain the network infrastructure. In addition, on-ground network infrastructures have a finite capacity; once this capacity is reached, more hardware must be purchased to expand the network and thereby increase their capacity.
With cloud computing, the costs of developing and maintaining a school network are significantly reduced. Since the network infrastructure is cloud-based, there are no developmental or maintenance costs as these are assumed by the cloud service provider. In addition, cloud computing is very scalable, allowing for an easy increase in capacity when needed, with minimal additional costs.
3) REDUCED TEXTBOOK COSTS
For students, one of the biggest cost drivers is the cost of their textbooks; printed textbooks, especially at the college-level, are usually expensive. Due to their high costs, some students are not able to afford their textbooks and, therefore, do not purchase them. As a result, this hinders their ability to learn the required course content.
By using cloud computing, schools can provide students with digital copies of textbooks rather than printed copies. To acquire their digital books, all the students have to do is to download them from the cloud to their device of choice. These digital copies are significantly cheaper than their printed counterparts and are, therefore, more affordable.
4) IMPROVED ACCESSIBILITY AND FLEXIBILITY
Prior to cloud computing, students had to consider a college's geographical location in deciding where to pursue their education; the further away the college was from where they lived, the less likely its appeal. In addition, the rigid hours of traditional colleges made it challenging for working adults to pursue higher education.
Due to cloud computing, the physical location of a college is no longer a limiting factor for students; a lot of colleges now offer online classes which can be taken from anywhere in the world. In addition, cloud computing provides students with greater flexibility when taking classes. Students can study at any time of the day or night, and at their own convenience.
5) DATA STORAGE
In education, there is a lot of information that has to be stored and maintained by colleges such as student transcripts, journals, and administrative paperwork, among others. Storing this information at physical sites can make them challenging to retrieve when needed. In addition, it can be costly to maintain these sites.
Without cloud computing, colleges can easily store all their relevant information in the cloud. Information stored in the cloud can be easily retrieved from anywhere when needed. In addition, with cloud storage, there is very little risk of losing critical information as data can be easily backed up.
At NewCloud Networks, we understand the relevance of cloud computing to education. We have experts on hand ready to help you make the transition to the cloud. Contact us today for further information.