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How is Cloud Technology Shaping the Education Industry

While current pandemic has jolted the entire world, one could say that this will have a very adverse effect on the Education Industry. But that is not true. With the advancements in technology, the traditional ways of education have been left far behind. The Education sector has been transforming since the past few years now and students throughout the world are bracing themselves for what the Educational technology platforms have to offer. Cloud Computing is one of the vertices that has brought immense changes in the way of educating students. People always focus on how this technology has brought about a change in their business, but let’s not forget, if it wasn’t for the Cloud Applications in EdTech like improving collaboration, re-inventing conventional IT frameworks and aiding information access, we still would have been waiting for other ways out to dig out powerful computing resources from the web.

Quick Understanding of Cloud Technology

Let us first try to grasp an idea of Cloud Computing. According to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology,

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

To understand how complex IT infrastructures are stored on remote servers and how cloud vendors are providing with affordable advanced computing tools to various institutions, we need to know about the three important categories of cloud application technology:

● Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Any type of software program that is managed remotely and delivered via the web
● Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): Includes a set of application infrastructure services, such as platform and OS that are rented from a vendor.
● Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): Yet another provisioning model for outsourcing compute resources on demand.

Among all the present domains in today’s market, Educational Institutions find Cloud Applications useful. From administrative processes to improving staff communication with students, cloud application offers a platform or software as a service where infrastructure is outsourced and students as well as the institutions can benefit by saving money and thus result in maximum efficiency. Since, bare hardware investments are required to store, process and analyze data on cloud, it serves as an ideal place for Educational Organizations.
Trends shaping the Cloud Application in Education Industry
1. Mobility/Distant Learning
Recently, the mass adoption of mobile devices has enabled us to integrate modern ways of learning. Classrooms seek out ways to take advantage of this modern learning. Even though there still are few educators who are comfortable with the traditional ways of teaching, others have established distant learning better in terms of engagement of students, availability of resources and simple learning and teaching processes. Since, devices like tablets and smartphones are affordable, they give mobile learning an increased opportunity to expand in the Educational Industry.
2. Open Education Platforms and Online Academics
Advanced Computing Technologies have resulted in the emergence of online courses which can be attended remotely by the student. They provide a credible certificate which brings in opportunity for those students who cannot attend these courses in their local institutes.
3. Foreign Language Learning
Mobile applications and the web platform have enabled foreign language learning on a new level. Students now get to learn a language from an instructor who is native to that particular language. This allows the student to learn better specific areas of language proficiency such as casual communication and pronunciation. This can be achieved through different language learning applications, language forums and Skype. These are especially convenient for students who have a limited access to native-speaking communities.

Cloud Application Empowering the Educational Sector
1. Save money on Textbooks
Let us not deny the fact that all the university level textbooks are tad expensive. Students hesitate when it comes to buying these books which have to be used only for a semester. This is where Cloud Application steps in. Cloud-based textbooks allow the students to download these books into their devices without having to spend on the hard binds. Digital books allow the same quality of learning to all kinds of students.
2. Updated Learning Material
The traditional textbooks seem to have to be updated with the growing advancements. This means a newer version of the book has to be published whenever there are new concepts to be integrated. This means, the students have to make a purchase of these books again. This results in huge loss of money and natural resources. Instead of this, cloud based books can be updated easily in real time and gives the students immediate access to the latest resources.
3. No expensive Hardware and Software
Since Cloud Applications are compatible with most of the devices, the institutions and students do not require specific kinds of technology to access the required academic materials. There won’t be a need to invest in expensive storage devices for these materials as many platforms offer free cloud-based storage. The SaaS model is one of the biggest advantages of cloud based development in this domain. Software programs are either free or are available at an affordable subscription, thus allowing the students as well as the educators to use these applications without having to spend a lot.
4. Providing Accessibility to Students
Cloud Applications in the Educational industry provides advanced opportunities to the students who could not understand concepts through the traditional way of teaching. This also allows those people to complete their higher education which they couldn’t have done in the past. People now get an opportunity to enroll for courses they want to specialize in and thus improve their employability. Along with this, everything from lesson plans, grades, notes, slides, labs, etc. can be made available on cloud applications, all the tools that are used in teaching can be easily uploaded and accessed anytime by the students and professors. Thus this makes all the process online and thus fast and more reliable.
5. Secured Data Accessibility through Data Masking
Data masking and other authentication becomes important when it comes to governing and providing secured information to right audience for any kind of industry. The data, images, information and the content shared should be stored securely. Cloud Applications make sure that these materials are available to the right audience after an authentication has been done.
Cloud technology is an important and powerful tool that institutions like schools and colleges can use to improvise student outcomes. Along with this, this technology also helps in keeping student data safe, stretching budgets further, saving educators’ time and increasing equity in learning. To fully realize these benefits, more work must be done to broaden and deepen the adoption of Cloud Applications across the education spectrum.

About Author Vinay Varma :

Vinay Varma is a technical writer of cloud solutions Provider Company. He has written on various topics including mobile app development and other technologies related topics .He always wants to gain and share her knowledge with the people who want to learn new things in latest app technologies.

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Article Added on Monday, April 27, 2020
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