In today’s world, technology is the central mechanism for improving teaching and learning. Technological advancements don’t just improve classroom learning but also significantly enhance the overall human capital and infrastructure supporting education delivery. One such breakthrough technology is education-oriented cloud computing, which was already surging in popularity before COVID-19. But post-pandemic, the use of cloud computing in the field of education has gained special importance.
In 2021, as several students are still unable to attend in-person lectures and seminars because of health and safety reasons, the use of cloud technology in education is only looking to grow further over the coming months and years.
Below are some ways cloud computing is facilitating operations of educational institutions post COVID-19.
Traditional, on-campus IT infrastructures require on-site support staff. In the absence of staff, the management becomes difficult. Now that remote teaching and learning are important to facilitate education during the pandemic, supporting infrastructure should be able to rapidly scale to meet demand. With cloud computing, there is no need to buy on-campus capabilities; institutions can ‘rent’ needed capacity from a cloud provider to migrate teaching resources to the platforms where extra server capacity ensures uninterrupted services.
Having the ability to teach students irrespective of their geographical location is helping educational institutions become a lot more flexible in the way curriculums are designed and delivered.
Streamlining internal communications
Large educational institutions can have thousands of students and dozens of staff, which can often make internal communication difficult. Cloud technology is helping institutions manage this complexity by making internal communications easier.
Companies helping educational institutions migrate to the cloud.
Several companies are enabling the continuity of education even after the pandemic. Some well-known companies include:
Google’s G Suite productivity apps, such as Gmail, Google Drive, Hangouts, Calendar, and Google Docs, already exist on the cloud. Their special classroom version, called – G Suite for Education, is specially made for education, with several features, such as – Google Docs, Sheets, Gmail, Drive, and others. Google’s other application, called – Google Classroom, links Google’s online cloud applications to make things easier for the students.
Microsoft has a special version of productivity apps designed to make things easier for teachers and students. Office 365 Education is the cloud-based subscription version of MS Office, which includes all the MS Office applications, but instead of downloading software to your hard drive, all you need to do is set up your Office 365 account and save all your documents to the cloud. Office 365 Education is free for students and teachers.
The company is known for creating cloud-based business simulations to mimic situations students would encounter in the real world. Their business simulations cover a wide range of industries, such as – sports, fashion, retail, accounting, etc. The case simulations cover more specific industry scenarios.
The company offers a variety of online courses from different universities and instructors through its cloud platform. Using this platform, students can gain specific career skills and grant university-recognized degrees.
Cloud technology opens up many opportunities, both for students and teachers. With the range of benefits, it offers in the field of education, very soon, it will be a regular part of the education system – truly reflecting the idea of any time, anywhere learning.