Few years back there was a time when people used to save their Microsoft office files on their CD-ROM, floppy disks or other portable storage. They then used to take the storage devices along with them as they traveled in order to access the data/information on other computer, and wait until they could actually retrieve and use the power point or word document. The scenario is no longer the same, Cloud Computing has replaced many portable storage devices. The success reason of Cloud computing is the security, flexibility and the ease-of-use the technology can provide.
A survey released in 2016 by Forrester predicted that by 2020 public cloud market would grow to $236 bn. But in 2014, the 2020 estimate was only $191 billion and its 2011 forecast for 2020 was 20% lower.
After looking at these predictions it has been noticed that cloud technology has become ubiquitous and a lot of organizations have already adopted it and there are a lot more enterprises and startups that are ready to adopt. This is also creating huge number of career opportunities. The two key segments that have majorly benefited since the evolution of cloud technology are Business and Education.
Cloud computing has definitely made a huge impact on most enterprises. Various cloud storage applications like Docs by Google, online storage space like Dropbox and many such other applications have enabled employees to execute multiple projects simultaneously using online storage space. And that has resulted in on-time delivery of work. When employees work from home these online storage applications sound very promising to work with. Thus increasing work efficiency with minimum utilization of the resource.
Almost all educational foundations worldwide are aware of cloud computing potential and what the technology can cater. They have started taking benefits from the technology. Cloud has benefitted both lecturers and students. Students can watch lectures online, they can also submit their assignments without actually going to the universities. They can also study and apply for examinations from their homes effortlessly. In most developed countries, the concept of distance learning has evolved totally based on cloud computing technology, and students can take courses from any location.
Here is an overview of some of the positive impacts of cloud computing on the educational sector across the world:
- Portability: Earlier on lecturers used to have to carry a portable storage device like floppy drives, CD-ROMs or USB thumb drives around. That was done if they wanted to carry work from universities to their homes. But the current situation has changed completely, with the evolution of cloud computing, they are relieved of the carrying portable devices around, saving valuable files to them, preventing the files from being lost or remembering to bring them altogether.
- Access Anywhere, Anytime: Cloud technology has made sure that whatever your study plans maybe like daily lesson plans, news articles, notes related to subjects, sample question papers, grades and presentation materials are securely stored and easily accessible. You can download and distribute them too from any location at any instance of time.
- Safety and Security: Educational sector and cloud computing might sound compatible now. But the big question is are all your files safe in cloud? So the answer to this is, they are very much safe. Have you stored your files on any online storage applications like Dropbox or Docs by Google? What is the first thing that you need to access them? I think the very first step to access your documents is your login ID and password. So all documents, images, content, and information requires authentication.
- Backup: Say if your home or school system has to crash someday, If you have files stored on cloud, you can still access all the information because it’s all stored somewhere safe and sound waiting for you.
- Easy shareability: Are you working on a project with other team mates? Do you think there should be a storage space where you could save all your data? Do you have the need to share some or all of your files? Using cloud you can get rid of the need to carry an extra thumb drive or burning another CD to storage information. You can just create a sharable link from and share the link with your team mates. Isn’t that really easy?
- Trackability: Do you as a student need to make changes in your assignments or lessons? I am sure there are many times when you make changes and want to change it back? With cloud computing there is no issue in rolling back your data. Cloud computing saves modifications and several versions of your document so that you can easily trace back the evolution of the files you wrote/modified.
- Collaboration: using cloud you can set-up numerous student groups for students who work on a project and assignments.
- Good-bye to copier: You heard it right. It has been observed that with the advent of cloud computing, the amount of photo copying has reduced to a great extent– the reason is because every student has hi/her own computer/laptop and some smart devices. Activities such as contests, examinations and assignments can be taken, scored, shared with student/parents, and stored using on cloud.
- Good-bye to file cabinets: The biggest benefit of using cloud in educational sector is its redundancy, and cloud disables the need of both saving files in some digital format as well as on the paper. Cloud computing systems makes also makes sure documents are backed-up on regular interval, hence reducing chances of losing important data. Also there is no need of file cabinets.
Cloud computing enables safe access of your valuable data from anywhere and at any time, which means if a student is sick and wishes to stay back home, they will still be able to regularly keep up with the class material. It has been proved that cloud is an essential and resourceful, I am sure once you try using cloud, there no going back. You will find manual storage doesn’t make sense.