Six advantages to cloud computing in education

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There is a lot of buzz about cloud computing right now—in fact, it is said that within one year, cloud computing in K-12 schools is expected to consume a quarter of the entire IT budget; four years from now, that figure will grow to 35 percent. But what exactly is cloud computing and why are so many people using it?

Simply put, cloud computing entails using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet as opposed to a local server. This helps cut IT costs as well as simplifies content management processes for schools and educational systems. (Many Pearson K-12 Technology products can be hosted in the Cloud: PowerSchool, Schoolnet, and Interoperability products are just a few of them.)

Still, what benefits are there to using the Cloud? Here’s a quick list of advantages that would be especially useful for both students and educators:

  • Back Up: An important function of the Cloud is that it automatically saves content, making it impossible to lose or delete any valuable material. This means that even if a computer crashes, all documents and content will remain safe, saved, and accessible in the cloud.

  • Storage: The Cloud allows its users to store almost all types of content and data including music, documents, eBooks, applications, photos, and much more.

  • Accessibility: Any data stored in the Cloud can easily be accessed from almost any device including mobile devices such as phones or tablets.

  • Collaboration: Because the Cloud allows multiple users to work on and edit documents at the same time, it enables effortless sharing and transmission of ideas. With this feature, group projects and or collaborative lesson plans can be optimized for both teachers and students.

  • Resource and Time Conscious: With the availability of content online, it is no longer necessary for teachers to spend time and resources printing or copying lengthy documents or lesson plans. Now, students are able to access homework assignments, lesson notes, and other materials online.

  • Assignments: I love that the Cloud allows teachers to post assignments online. Students are able to access these assignments, complete them, and save them in a folder to be reviewed later. This means no wasting time turning in papers at the beginning of class as well as no passing germs around during those pesky flu seasons!

How has the Cloud helped you out? Please share any tips or experiences in the comments below!