|Posted on 22 July, 2014 at 4:30|
In the (recent) past, accessing files (word processing files, spreadsheets, etc.) on different computers needed a floppy disk or USB drive. The disk or drive had to be carried with you so that any file could be opened on other computers. This was often a nerve-wracking experience, waiting for your document to appear. Things have changed; the safety, stability, and simplicity of cloud computing has increased its popularity, massively. This has led to widespread adoption in various educational institutions.
Why use the Cloud?
What are the advantages for storing files off-site on a server that can be located anywhere? You may ask. Here are some:
ADVANTAGES FOR THE STUDENT
• No need to carry around devices, such as USB drives or CDs.
• You don’t need to worry about losing or breaking the device, or not having your file load properly.
• Files stored in the cloud usually require a user ID and password – so it is not easily accessible, providing secure storage of your work.
• Working on a group project? Files can be shared between students through the cloud, removing the need for more than one USB drive or burning another CD.
• Student groups can be set up to work on assignments in the cloud, allowing for collaborative experiences.
• The systems are frequently backed-up, so the chances of losing files are very small.
ADVANTAGES FOR BOTH
• Easily accessible and always available, cloud storage is a limitless archive of information that can be utilized in both teaching and learning.
• The technology is now fully developed and therefore very reliable, leaving no chance for a delayed or fragmented educational experience.
• Cloud computing reduces the amount of photocopying required, significantly. This is further reduced if each student has their own smart device to access the cloud (e.g. laptop, tablet etc.)
• Exams, assignments, and assessments can be completed, graded, and shared where students and parents can review.
ADVANTAGES FOR THE INSTITUTION
• The usual time teachers spend carrying out administrative duties can be used on more educationally-driven activities that are beneficial for the student’s educational progress.
• Savings made on not purchasing, hiring, or maintaining photocopiers and printers, ink cartridges, and paper. Also reducing cost by removing the need to purchase alternative, servers, software, and related items, such as: USB drives, and CD-ROMs.
• An overall increase in efficiency accessibility of files is available for teachers and staff anytime, anywhere without needing to rely on anyone else’s approval or recognition.
• Files can be tracked using various analytical tools in the cloud. This allows for the opportunity to see the frequency of file-accessing, and at what times of the day and days of the week are frequented the most.
If your institution has a wired or wireless infrastructure (wired and/or wireless), cloud computing is easily implemented. You may ask has the cloud led the digital age into conquering paper? The future is unknown, but I would say that the advantages of cloud computing are difficult to ignore.