Over a decade ago, teaching and learning were confined to textbooks and classrooms in the education industry.
Today, learners and teachers have access to computers and mobile devices that are always connected. Cloud computing plays a massive role in this disruptive change.
Students can now pursue courses in colleges located thousands of miles away from them. The technology making this possible is what is known as cloud computing. Essentially, cloud computing eliminates the need for physical technological infrastructure and upscales virtual services. To understand the importance of cloud computing in education, you need to first understand what cloud computing is and how it works.
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Cloud computing is a form of technology that enables computer resources, from computing power to computing infrastructure, applications, business processes to personal collaboration, to be delivered to you as a service wherever and whenever you need. By implementing cloud computing, it becomes possible to bring teachers and learners together on a unified, all-purpose platform.
Cloud computing eliminates the need for educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities to own and maintain their own IT infrastructure and data centres. Inclusively, resources and data stored on the cloud are ensured secure. Now we explain the importance of cloud computing in education.
Cloud computing makes virtual classrooms for students possible for educational institutions. This reduces the costs of onboarding regular teaching staff. It also greatly reduces the infrastructural costs. In this, you can choose to collaborate with skilled trainers who work remotely.
In the same vein, regular teaching staff can develop online courses for students anywhere in the world. Exams can be written virtually and save even more time and expenses.
Cloud computing offers the benefit of secure data storage. Institutions taking advantage of cloud services can use virtual private network technology to keep their data secure. This means that data transferred across online platforms cannot lose its integrity.
IKEv2 is an example of a Virtual Private Network(VPN) protocol responsible for the automatic encryption of data transferred across the network. If you are a learner or a teaching staff, you can protect their privacy by using a VPN for cloud-based applications.
Another great benefit especially in Nigeria is the substantial cost savings. This benefits both the students and the institution. Students will no longer need to invest in so many expensive books and applications as all these will be available on the cloud.
Learning resources will be easily accessible. School Management can lower costs by automating school processes like enrollment and assignment tracking. Most definitely, infrastructure costs reduce as well. Cloud computing services are pay as you go, which makes them cost-effective.
Accessibility is the quality of being able to be obtained or used by all people regardless of who you are and what you do. The importance of cloud computing is unmatched when it comes to accessibility. Online platforms are designed to allow you to access data anytime and anywhere.
You can participate in collaborative activities and enroll in online courses easily. Barriers in the Nigerian education system such as physical space and time no longer exist with the implementation of cloud computing technology.
This is because the cloud ensures seamless delivery of content at all times. Cloud computing services work cross-platform, meaning students can access learning materials from their mobile devices on the go.
Scalability refers to when a system can handle a growing amount of work by adding resources to the system. This is a huge problem in the Nigerian education system. Classes are overcrowded and educational resources are limited. Cloud computing is important to solve this problem in schools, colleges, and universities.
It enables them to scale up the capacity of the learning applications to meet its demand easily and quickly. This results in being able to admit an increasing number of students. Additionally, scalability helps to accommodate traffic spikes. If you attend a Nigerian university, you have probably had a time when your school website crashed because too many people were on it at once.
Cloud computing scalability solves this problem and can even scale down in instances of low activity to prevent resource wastage.
Another way Nigerian schools can profit off cloud computing is through innovation and efficiency. It gives them the ability to create better learning standards for students. Modern tools are available to be developed, tested and released to improve the learning experience. Students can have timely and unrestricted access to educational resources to improve the efficiency of the learning process.
Besides innovation and efficiency, the importance of cloud computing in Nigerian schools is evident in the opportunities it poses to students to expand their horizons. If you are a student who has difficulties with the traditional learning system, cloud computing provides you with a wider range of possibilities. Students that do not want traditional learning systems should be given the chance to explore the new concept of online education.
This is especially advantageous for students who want to opt for remote learning. Also, teaching professionals who are looking to upgrade their skills can take virtual classes rather than conventional physical ones.
Cloud-based applications reduce hardware resource requirements to the barest minimum. These applications are optimized to work seamlessly across all digital mediums; smartphones, tablets, PCs, desktops etc.
You do not need to invest in an expensive computer to have access to cloud-based applications. You also won’t need to worry about storage and backup because everything goes up to the cloud.
Management can also heavily reduce the hardware requirements of their IT infrastructure that they have to maintain. With cloud computing, education has never been this easy.
The importance of cloud computing in education cannot be overstated. It does not come as a surprise that many schools in Nigeria are fast beginning to embrace cloud computing technology to improve services and learning standards.
Likewise, the cloud is best for students. Nothing beats the convenience of education at your fingertips. Whether it is a small school, a large institution or a student, everyone in the education industry is experiencing the positive importance of cloud computing technology. Things can only get better in the future.