Online Learning and Cloud Computing

Online Learning and Cloud Computing

Online learning has always adapted to new technologies, and cloud computing is a perfect example of that phenomenon. First, though, let’s define the term: “cloud computing” is a phrase that refers to hosted Internet services, whether those services involve software, platforms or infrastructure. The cloud offers many benefits. It’s fast and scalable, and users can buy it by the hour or minute. And cloud users are never charged for features they don’t use.

Cloud computing holds real promise for education. For one thing, it allows unprecedented and unparalleled mobility when it comes to educational materials. If a professor makes her course materials – readings, videos and so on – available on the cloud, students can access those materials wherever they are, on any kind of mobile Internet device, be it smartphone, tablet or laptop computer. This makes for more productive commuter train rides home, and waiting for the dentist need no longer be a waste of time for students.  Moreover, no matter what kind of device is used, the education experience will be equally as good.

It’s not just distance learning institutions that are employing cloud computing, either. Traditional schools are hopping aboard the cloud as well. Indeed, school systems can save a lot of money when teachers post materials on the cloud instead of constantly printing and copying. And students who access course materials on the cloud can save lots of money on textbooks each semester. Better still, as cloud hosting is available on the pay-as-you-go model, schools will never be in a position where they’ve overspent on resources. (On the other hand, if a school finds it hasn’t purchased enough resources to meet demand, it can simply scale upwards.)

In short, the cloud makes life easier for students and educators alike. It works to streamline a school’s informational technology, making IT much easier to manage. It lets administrators choose between an on-premises platform or an off-premises platform, or some combination of those two options. And it’s so fast, so powerful and so accessible that students will never again have to face the terrifying experience of not being able to complete a major assignment because their Internet connection is too slow or their laptop is on the fritz. 

Finally, cloud computing is the easiest, most inexpensive means of hosting email. With the cloud, every faculty member and every student gets an email address, and cloud email is secure and reliable.

Online learning market place

Apr 27, 2012