Over time, cloud computing has become an integral part of modern day technology. When it was first discussed, the technology was used as a way to minimise IT costs along with increasing flexibility and providing storage solutions to organisations. Today, the cloud is an important part of people’s lives, giving them access to services over the Internet so they can access them from any device they want.
As time goes by, cloud computing has increased its influence into different sectors, including education. With this in mind, institutions have begun adopting the cloud to get rid of physical, costly infrastructure where data and applications were loaded and stored. As a result, nowadays, data is available and given to people on demand, increasing flexibility. In fact, various university departments can effortlessly share information across any device, without needing specific technology to collaborate and communicate with other devices.
Furthermore, cloud computing and infrastructure is changing the field of teaching and learning as the emergence of this technology has allowed access to new resources, cloud-based textbooks, multimedia content and administrative tools, bringing progress, growth and new opportunities. Furthermore, students always have access to updated resources and no longer need to purchase paper books, helping them to save money and protect the environment. Also, by providing digital, cheaper content, universities have begun to attract students from less-privileged backgrounds, levelling the disparity between advantaged and disadvantaged learners.
Cloud computing in education has also aided the creation of virtual classrooms, enabling educators to create and manage classes and courses in a more efficient way, distributing materials and resources to students, as well as monitoring their progress. Keep in mind the concept of virtual classrooms has existed for many years, their installation used to be very expensive; nevertheless, nowadays companies such as Blackboard and Google have reduced these costs, offering cloud-based services that allow numerous universities to use virtual classrooms.
Finally, the cloud allows people to utilise distance learning programmes and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), having the possibility to easily enhance their knowledge. Ever since the launch of Coursera in 2012, cloud educational platforms have become more useful among individuals who want to attain degrees in a wide range of subjects including data science, engineering and medicine.
Nowadays, technology is influencing every single sector in our society and education is not an exception. With this in mind, cloud computing has been adopted to facilitate students in their learning process, lecturers in their class preparation and admin staff in dealing with large quantities of information.