The cloud offers several great advantages: accessibility, collaboration, storage and backup are just a few. Now many of us already know this, the amazing thing is what different industries are accomplishing with these capabilities. Each industry, be it legal, healthcare or financial have all been finding ways to retrofit these capabilities to their specific needs. More recently however, the education system has been taking advantage of the cloud and in incredible ways.
Cloud has been growing steadily in the education world, within one year it is expected to consume a quarter of the entire IT budget for k-12 schools. This is expected to grow to 35% within four years. So how are these schools using this newly adopted technology to help students:
Back Up: One major benefit of the cloud is that it automatically saves and backs up content, this makes it extremely difficult to lose or delete important information. This means that students as well as teachers will be able to be confident that their data and assignments will be backed up, keeping those major projects safe. Students may not be as excited for this however, sadly the "my dog ate my homework" excuse won't work anymore.
Storage: This goes without saying, the cloud enables storage. For the education system this could be huge, a major expense for schools currently are books and educational materials. If these were to be digitized and stored in the cloud it could save schools thousands of dollars. A digitized version of a book doesn't wear out, they can't be lost and students can access them anytime anywhere and on any of their devices.
Accessibility: Students these days are more connected than ever, be it a smart phone, laptop or tablet students have all of this technology at their fingertips and are inherently used to using it. It is time for schools to step up, realize this and enable students to use the technology they are used to. The cloud is a huge help here, it can allow them to access all of their assignments, books and research anywhere on any of their devices.
Collaboration: Cloud apps such as Google Docs now allow for increased levels of collaboration. Group projects are a large part of school and I'm sure everyone can remember how difficult it was to organize everyone and get a project done. Now with the cloud students can collaborate easily online, making it easy to work with one another to get a project done. This also effects the relationship between students and their teachers. Students can now reach out to teachers via the cloud to get help on assignments or get questions answered.
Assignments: I love that the Cloud allows teachers to post assignments online. Students are able to access these assignments, complete them, and save them in a folder to be reviewed later. This means no wasting time turning in papers at the beginning of class and it makes a teachers job simpler and more effective.
I personally am looking forward to seeing the education system adopt more technology. The cloud offers so many great things that schools can take full advantage of, and I think its high time they start to.
Written By: Sam Watkinson