Education is an evolving field. In terms of its share in the economy, society and culture, education plays a substantial role. In this context, online education was a growing greenfield project. However, with the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, online education has become the primary source of teaching and learning. Therefore cloud computing services have become an integral part of the education system.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services over the internet(“the cloud”). Computing services such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence. Cloud computing services provide a win-win scenario for both the customer and the service provider. It ensures faster innovation, better resource efficiency and economies of scale. Cloud computing is cost-effective, fast, better productivity, performance(reduced network latency), greater reliability and security.
The positive interaction between cloud computing and education has created a synergy. Online education has accelerated the democratization of knowledge. It has led to a wide distribution of learning opportunities. At the nascent stage, online education was only able to impart knowledge through one-way communication. Expanding high-speed internet service, higher acceptance of online education and continuous effort to expand access to everyone has made the online education sector more robust. Thus, today online education can manifest two-way to three-way communication, which has led to a better education experience.
Advantages of online education
- Inclusivity: Online mode of education has made education available to many non-traditional consumers. It can be a boon for differently-abled students.
- Affordability: Online education has led to better economies of scale, which has made education more affordable. Education has become more affordable because of technological evolution caused by better cloud computing services.
- Accessibility: One can learn whatever they want. Many online learning platforms are free of cost and a good standard.
- Flexibility: Comfort plays a vital role in the learning process. One can learn whatever they want whenever they want and wherever they want. Online education gives room for self-paced learning that is more meaningful and effective.
- Hybrid learning: The cloud allows for creating a strong foundation for developing collaboration skills among students. By providing a teacher who can give feedback in real-time, such collaborations can be enriched.
Role of cloud computing
Laptops, smartphones, tablets and desktops have become a staple in classrooms. Australian online education market stood at around $ 5 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR(Compound Annual Growth Rate) of over 8% by 2026.
As the share of online education increases in the economy, so does the need for better computing services to cater to it. Online mode of education has its challenges such as connectivity issues, lack of infrastructure, glitches in computer applications, digital divide, etc. To overcome these challenges, much headway has been made in the development of cloud computing.
Not only in online education, but cloud computing has also made strides in contributing to education as a whole. Analysis of data based on student behaviour, exam results and time spent in learning has led to a new pedagogic paradigm and better learning experience for students. Cloud computing can also reduce administrative red-tapism in educational institutions.
- Artificial Intelligence can be assimilated to deliver personalized instruction based on the learning needs of each student.
- Evolving a system of academic credit banks, so that transfer of grades is made easier. The use of cloud computing services will make this process effortless.
- Cloud computing is capable of embedding intelligence(using computer models to provide valuable insights from data capture), which can be harnessed for the betterment of the education system.