14 Apr
2016

Cloud Computing Solutions for Education

The worldwide cloud computing market reached $110 billion in revenue in 2015, reports Forbes. While many people think of the cloud only being used in a business setting, one under-recognized aspect of the cloud market growth has been in education, where the global market is estimated to grow from $5.83 billion in 2015 to $15.02 billion by 2020, according to NewsChannel10. With a push toward a centralized system of academic progress management and a need to simplify mobile learning and management requirements, cloud computing has grown to be an essential part of educational institutions.


How academia uses cloud services has grown beyond email and research collaboration. The following are just a few innovative ways cloud services have changed how schools work.

 

In-Class Use of Online Materials


A great example of a school district using the cloud is the Napa Valley Unified School District. It has taken the extraordinary step of introducing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy for students. This reflects a growing trend that allows students to use their own laptops, netbooks and smartphones to access filtered online content and multimedia materials stored on the school’s local cloud. This reduces the need to buy and maintain costly audiovisual equipment, and it minimizes the need for excessive physical media, such as CDs and thumb drives. It also removes the burden of equipment obsolescence, which is a huge problem for schools that are still using VHS tapes, film strips and microfiche.

 

Standardization of Academic Records

The majority of academic records are stored either on paper or on microfiche. With each institution using its own data storage model, retrieving archived information and compiling progress summaries can be a timely ordeal. Because many states are now requiring K-12 institutions to regularly submit student progress and testing reports to state regulators, it is becoming more necessary to bring these records online into a searchable, configurable database. This makes academic administration easier and gives teachers direct access to the information they need to create an effective, customized teaching plan for their students.

 

Disaster Recovery

One of the worst disasters that can befall a school district is the destruction of the institution’s archival records. While off-site backups and record requests could restore a portion of on-site losses, the time needed to reconstruct the institution’s archives could take months or years. Storing records on the cloud reduces the recovery time to a fraction of a conventional disaster recovery. More importantly, records could be safely accessed during the disaster, simplifying student rescue and outreach efforts.

 

 

 

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