The cloud in education is a huge market worth $5 billion; it is expected to cross $12 billion in 2019, according to a report, Cloud Computing in Education Market – Worldwide Market Forecasts and Analysis (2014-2019) by MarketsandMarkets.
With an array of industries around, the world is recognizing the power of cloud based applications. The time has arrived to embrace cloud based applications amidst the Technological rat race.
The cloud technology dramatically reduces the time, funds and infrastructure educational institutions require to reach to the new markets. Not only do institutions benefit from the economies of scale, but they can also channelize the savings towards strategic learning initiatives and other revenue streams. Apart from these, institutions will achieve operational efficiency with the centralized control while the students become more engaged with the options available to them. Teachers focus more on learner requirements rather than on mundane admin tasks.
One such industry that has significantly benefited from cloud-based solutions is the education sector. The Cloud has offered significant potential in changing how education as an industry works from with the perspective of offering online programs so as to modify the traditional working ecosystem.
Here are a few surprising ways by which cloud applications is influencing today’s education system:
Students Save on Expensive Textbooks
It is a known fact that university level textbooks are rather expensive. Textbooks have surprisingly outpaced the cost of almost every other element involved in university level education including tuition fees. This results in students deterring from buying them. Cloud-based textbooks are an effective solution to this problem. Digital content tends to be lot less expensive thus, allowing lower-income students to get access to the same quality of learning material as other students.
Learning Material Needn’t Be Outdated
As an extension to the previous point, expensive textbooks compel students to rely on older, second hand editions that consist of outdated material. Cloud-based material makes it easy to update content real-time hence, enabling students to gain constant access to the latest learning resources.
No Room for Expensive Hardware
Since cloud-based applications run on web browsers and are compatible with most mobile devices, schools and students needn’t own specific computers or laptops to access material. Even a cheap smart phone can allow you to access related academic applications. Furthermore, there is no need to invest in external storage devices since there are several platforms available that offers free cloud-based storage services.
Expensive Software: A Big No!
Considered to be one of the biggest advantages of cloud-based computing is the development of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. It is common for software programs to now be available either free or at a low-cost subscription thus, making it easy for students to use high quality academic applications without breaking the bank.
Reaching Out To a Diverse Range Of Students
Cloud based applications in education opens newer opportunities for students. Especially for those class of students who weren’t served well by traditional approaches. Since education has moved online, it has become more and more possible for adult students to finish their high-school education. Alternative forms of education are nowadays becoming easily available thus, making it easy for individuals to receive specific training in areas that may improve their employability.
This brings us to the next point. With 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.
Whether it concerns Education or any industry that strikes your mind, your data, images, information and content needs to be stored in a secure manner. Security has made it to the priority list almost everywhere. Most cloud-based mobile applications offer strong authentication facilities for making sure that the academic material is made available only to the right people. Furthermore, if some modification happens to the IT infrastructure at the university, the content will still be available to professors and to the students as well.
Finally, cloud-based mobile applications in education make it easy for students to share their assignments with teachers in an easy and traceable manner. Cloud facilitates easy collaborations, allowing student groups to work on projects and assignments on cloud in an effective manner.