Cloud is emerging as the medium to make quality education accessible to all.
There is no doubt about a great future of education in India. Yet, the way to reach out to a great future still has to be thought about. Cloud is emerging as the medium to make quality education accessible to all.
Presently, a number of our schools suffer from a low quality education delivery, primarily due to short handed staff, inefficient infrastructure, tiny classrooms and lack of teachers. Cloud computing solutions can solve many of these problems through online lesson planning tools, automating school management process, and online homework submission etc. Cloud technology will eventually ensure that the present ‘factory’ model of education disappears from the systems. This assurance comes from the fact that cloud solutions do not require any traditional education tools like classrooms, teachers, textbooks etc. By virtue of cloud computing, students in the near future will have anytime and anywhere access to their classrooms and teachers. The future of education is all about anytime anywhere access to content and learning. Therefore, cloud computing has got a prominent role to play in the classrooms of the future.
Traditionally, lesson planning used to be done on paper in the form of teacher’s diaries. It also required the teachers to either carry the diaries around or be present at the school premises. With lesson planning facility on cloud, teachers can define lesson plans for various subjects along with the number of periods required to complete the course material – from anywhere and at anytime. On-demand access to lesson plans for parents leads to better communication and well-managed education delivery. Since automation software are on reputed cloud services such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, concerns about the security of the system and reliability is taken care of.
Many schools in the United States already enjoy the benefits of computer-based learning; how can cloud computing improve the process? Well, for one, maintenance and upgrades will become a whole lot easier. The service provider will take care of all the nitty-gritty, leaving schools free to devote resources towards what they do best – teach our children. Also, think how convenient homework assignments will become. The teachers just need to upload the homework assignments on the cloud portal from anywhere and anytime. The students can work on the cloud, cooperate with team members and share knowledge, and be sure that they won’t leave behind their homework assignments when they go to school. Since they are on the cloud, they can access them anywhere, be it home or school.
From schools, let’s move to colleges. Many colleges do not have sufficient hardware or software to give students a complete learning experience. This problem is especially pronounced in the technical fields. However, with SaaS, a limited budget will still allow students access to the latest technologies on offer. Simulating those complex weather patterns and running those complicated algorithms will no longer be something that only students at the top-of-the institutions can do. In other words, cloud computing can democratize education.
Ultimately, technology is going to have a significant impact on teaching and learning. The power of the cloud and more consumer-orientated devices are going to make anytime, anywhere learning more commonplace and accessible to all. Furthermore, with access to free, or very cost effective, learning content now becoming ubiquitous, the role of the teacher is going to evolve and become more important than ever
In the Indian education landscape, technology is often considered as an invitation to huge investments in computer peripherals and their maintenance. But thanks to cloud technology that the educational institutes need not invest in any servers or other peripherals. All they need is a computer with a web browser and an internet connection.
Since technology has been a constant part of our lives, cloud based educational tools are a great way to teach a generation that has been raised on computers. This new generation can learn new things and in new ways that those of us who are now adults could never have dreamed of.
The cloud is poised to revolutionize the educational sector, and schools and learning institutions would be wise not to write off the cloud as just a business tool. The future opportunities for success or failure of students could rest in the cloud.
By Yogesh Agarwal, President, Applane