Cloud computing providing resources and capabilities of Information Technology to the education field may be the new start-up frontier, reported a recent content writer’s post on CloudTweaks, a site that is among the fastest-growing cloud computing resources on the Web.
As the writer stated “cloud computing is incrementally being introduced as a useful technology in classrooms across America … quickly making it one of the fastest-growing areas of new development in technology as a whole.”
Cloud technology is revolutionizing education at schools as it provides a new world of educational opportunities: it makes it possible to engage in interactive learning from a distance with no need to be in a classroom; students can access instructional material and resources online and follow a digital curriculum wherever they are or while traveling. Cloud computing is also changing the way students and professors interact and collaborate with each other from different geographical locations.
The benefits are various. In fact, there has been a recent rise in investment by schools as a result of all its benefits to give more students access to quality education and help minimize costs for education institutions.
Moreover, with a growing demand for educational resources online, plus the need for specific software and IT maintenance, the cloud has become an important part of the academic institutions’ budget. Many have already implemented cloud computing strategies and some are now considering transitioning to meet their demands, such as to reduce IT complexity and upgrades. Even more, they have turned to the cloud to have access to IT services and products that can be delivered over the Internet in real time, anywhere for professors and students.
Through the means of virtualization, the cloud delivers resources in a way that is cost effective, consistent, and easy to distribute and update. Moreover, it enables a convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. It also offers dynamically-scalable self-services, device and media independency, explains the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) –the non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that focuses on developments that apply technology, measurements and standards.
Creating a start-up to provide cloud services specific for the education to deliver Web services and products that can meet the needs of students and educators, could prove, today, a very successful feat.
Entering the education field already is the search engine giant Google (News - Alert). The company has developed a cloud-based app for educational usage; it also created the product Google Drive that allows users cloud storage and, in 2012, launched its Chromebook—an affordable laptop for education running Google Chrome OS (hence the name). This product, which is slowly and steadily gaining popularity, includes a cloud-based management console and promises to increase the number of machines available to teachers and students. Besides, it has provided a means to encourage anytime/anywhere individual mobile learning: students, in fact, can save all their documents or school work in the cloud via Google Drive (formerly Google Docs); plus, they can access Web education, applications and digital resources online as well as collaborate with other students.
A strategy similar to that used by Google is a great way for other companies or individuals to follow suit and make money while working toward positive change and assist in educating people; or perhaps “to gain valuable customer and public capital by improving their image.”
The CloudTweaks post concluded by highlighting how the benefits of cloud computing are becoming more apparent. As the cloud matures, more and more startups will likely appear on the market as they will depend on such a networked infrastructure to become more widespread and user-friendly. According to the article, “the expansion we could see in education technology in the coming years could be jaw-dropping.”
As the technology becomes more readily available, students and teachers will learn to rely on its use and will demand more. Services like Google Drive will show how the potential of cloud computing in education are virtually limitless and competition between new start-up companies will create more and more services that will possibly give users new and better tools in the near future.