The immediate benefits of cloud computing consist of reduced I.T costs, increased accessibility to information, enabling collaboration, and a kind of flexibility organisations, businesses and schools alike have never experienced before. But cloud computing is having other effects too, which are contributing greatly to the change in education, both online and in the traditional classroom sense. In this article we are going to look at four benefits cloud computing will have in schools in 2016, and beyond:
1. Say Goodbye to Expensive Textbooks
Physical textbooks are a reality of all education levels, the only difference being, normally, at lower levels students are not asked to buy them, meaning that it is the schools responsibility to keep them up-to-date. But at higher levels of education – for example, college and university – students are required to purchase their textbooks, most of which are very pricy. Cloud-based textbooks, however, will solve the overall problem of expensive textbooks, as digital content is less expensive and more relevant (or up-to-date). Digital content also gives lower-income students access to better quality learning materials at a fraction of the cost.
2. Out with Old and Outdated Information
Not only are textbooks expensive, but after a few years the information they hold becomes outdated and irrelevant. But because of the high costs that come with purchasing textbooks many students are using outdated materials that are no longer correct, meaning that students are lacking the up-to-date knowledge they should be learning on a daily basis. Cloud-based materials, however, are easier to attain and keep up-to-date in real time. Cloud-based materials ensure that students will always have access to the most current learning resources and are available at all times.
3. No Expensive Hardware or Software is Needed
We understand that not all students have access to expensive computer equipment, or smartphones for that matter. But the fact that cloud-based applications do not need expensive hardware nor expensive software is impressive never-the-less. Cloud-based applications can be used via internet browsers, but many are compatible with mobile devices too. This means that students do not need to own a laptop or computer to access the applications, they can use a smartphone which is a much cheaper option in comparison. Many software programs are also now available for free or at a very low-cost subscription basis.
4. It Reaches a Larger and More Diverse Range of Students
For students around the world who are not served well by traditional education systems, cloud computing opens up doors to new and reachable possibilities. Adults who never finished high school can now earn their diploma or other qualifications online by doing a computer course in Singapore for example, and for students who do not fit well with a traditional school environment now have the opportunities and an array of options that can help them pursue a different form of education that suits their wants and needs better than before, all through cloud-computing and the internet.
Cloud computing in 2016 will not only reduce educational costs, but create an environment where a high-quality education is accessible to more and more students around the world.