More schools are turning to cloud computing as a more cost-effective option that allows students to engage in high end computing while improving the efficiency and productivity of teachers and students alike. The system, an alternative to traditional methods of learning, has the potential to strengthen the current education system. Cloud can be used for all students’ computing needs from software resources and storage to emailing and access to collaboration tools.
With the growing emphasis on technology skills required for college and future jobs, teachers are looking for new ways to involve students with computers at school; however traditional software licenses are very expensive and involve a high amount of involvement from staff. This makes it difficult for educators to experiment with various options that could be beneficial to students. Cloud allows teachers to try out various applications and platforms at a minimal cost to the school as it allows renting of infrastructure and in most cases, software.
A cloud system means everything is saved online in a remote location providing easier access to documents and resources. This eliminates the hassle of emailing information to every individual or saving files on flash drives that run the risk of being lost or forgotten. Educators gain the additional benefits of the shared management resources and receive greater longevity from them as well.
Teachers can use cloud computing platforms to store and send data in real time including homework assignments, lesson agendas, further study resources and more. Even several days’ absence from school does not mean that students miss any of their classes. The cloud supports applications that enables better personal, interactive and group learning; for example, students can debate, or to work on projects without being in the same location. They can even collaborate with other children from other parts of the country or the world whom they have never met.
The implications for applications supported by cloud computing include a universal curriculum that could be implemented across the country. Furthermore, children in grade schools across the world could potentially receive the same educational opportunities. Cloud computing can be leveraged in all levels of grade school including for those who need to study entirely online rather than in a physical classroom. This can provide support to students who are unable to attend school due to illness, problems with peers, physical disabilities or traveling with family. Combined with the growing trend toward tablet computers, the cloud is opening the way for countless educational possibilities in the future.
Mercedes Potter is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her @CedesPotter to see what else she’s been blogging about.