Paul's blog - 13 June 2014

Cloud Computing within Education

The cloud computing phenomenon has claimed a lot of industry sectors and both private and public organisations. Cloud computing is a service that can have a benefit for all companies, no matter your specification as typical vendors will create a product based on key requirements and specification. Another interesting impact that cloud based technologies can have is within education both as a solution to IT infrastructure and a possible solution for enhancing education throughout communities.

For government funded institutes, the move to access anywhere/anytime on-demand technologies can prove to be of benefit to schools and colleges. The pay as you go option and the less need for renewing current IT infrastructure is also a key selling point, reduced information technology overheads for the end users or computing department and on-demand services.

Scalability could be a key consideration for government funded education, the ability to upscale and save money across a county or area of a country is worth a consideration, but is the government hoping to implement this?

Other examples of cloud adoption in recent news – ownCloud have received a major endorsement from education intuitions in Germany, bringing syncing and sharing capabilities to half a million users. Some of the key selling points of this technology were the usability, extensibility and the potential the product had for continuous development.

Doesn’t just save admin and IT Costs, could impact how children are educated

The impact that cloud based tech can have on communities or actual students can be beneficial. The George Stephenson High School in Killingworth has developed a ‘learning lab’ the children are encouraged to learn by themselves, whilst being guided by an online mediator from what they coin as the ‘Granny Cloud’. Although this is not something being implementing on a larger scale, it demonstrates the many uses that it can have on education.

In principle cloud infrastructure can be implemented for administrative purposes as a cost-effective software and product solutions reducing the problems that arise from licensing issues, software updates and security. Paid for and open source options do exist to create a cloud based method of education and could well be the future for teaching remote or smaller groups of people and communities.

 

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