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Why cloud computing is a perfect solution for education market?
Posted by Pomoc Oktawave on 23.02.2015 21:20

Cloud computing is widely developed, which results in its utilization in a numerous branches beyond information technologies such as marketing and medicine. However these examples are not common yet, but we must admit that the level of cloud utilization constantly increases. This text will show you, that the education market is a perfect area to implement cloud-based solutions.

 

IT and education sector: a symbiosis-based relationship

Present world is dominated by IT. Everybody has an access to the information and everybody constantly produces it. This results in the increase of low worth and/or completely worthless information. So ability of quick searching and evaluation of the information becomes a desirable skill. Despite common opinion this skill is not widely spread, even among young people who uses the computers since early years of their life.

When talking about IT in education, it is needed to strongly emphasize that computerization and new communication technologies have slightly accelerated scientific researches. Till now science didn’t grow so rapidly. As a consequence there also exists another problem: quick knowledge outdating.

The following factors put out of the consideration the classical memory-based education model towards the new one. This modern model focuses on the methods of efficient information searching. Simultaneously there exists a trend of education on the area of putting in practice IT technologies in a daily life activities. All of these clearly indicates that IT and education is inseparably linked together.

 

Computer in school: it is not so bad

Computerization of education sector, despite a strong need of improvements, have a huge development perspective.

Nowadays near every school has a computer lab. But there is no reason to fall in overmuch optimism: a quality of the equipment is a weak point.

Hardware in schools is very often outdated or beyond the actual needs. A direct reason is the financing: IT supplies are being made ad hoc, with no plans. (In practice when there is a budget resources). There exists no implementation and modernization strategies.

The next substantial problem is a lack of the financial resources for obtaining software licenses. Thus exists no capabilities of taking a full advantage from the hardware.

But eventually we have to look in the future with optimism. Local authorities are usually aware that there is no way back in this process and intends more and more finances on school computerization. We could observe also that the high speed internet access penetration increases from year to year. It is worth to mention, that there exists a special projects on this area (launched both by EU and telecom providers).

The hope could be also seen in a typical for education sector open-minded life attitude. One of the examples is a great adoption of the school management platforms supporting inter alia electronic class register feature.

 

Cloud in education sector: the cure that works

Utilizing cloud computing in the education branch enables to eliminate typical barriers associated with computerization of science sector and IT education. These are mainly:

  • High CAPEX. Cloud-based solutions enables to reduce both hard- and software expenditures. All the needed hardware is a basic computer. We could also look forward and replace the computers with the thin client terminals that are connected to the server. This type of hardware would need upgrading and/or replacement definitely more rarely. On the area of software, the cloud eliminates the need of obtaining a licenses. The client obtains an access and Subscriber Access License (SAL) only. Cloud services are precisely billed and the payments bases on the actual resources consumption.
  • Problems associated with the administration. In the cloud-based applications the administration activities are being provided by cloud provider. It is responsible for the proper applications operation, updates and licensing. Moreover: cloud solutions are extremely flexible. All the changes could be implemented very quickly, when expansion is needed.
  • Insufficient data protection. Cloud computing eliminates the risk of data loss both resulted from hardware malfunctions and storage thefts.

These are the most significant but not all benefits of cloud computing. Students would enjoy also:

  • time saving and simplified access to the materials – no longer need of preparing the copies, and archiving them,
  • accessibility: every time and from every place – all that is needed is a computer or a tablet with the Internet access,
  • cloud environment enables defining levels of the access, thus forces focusing on the subject among the students.

Apart from the benefits listed above it is also worth to mention that cloud computing is definitely more environment friendly. Reduction of the power consumption and the need of disposing outdated hardware are the key benefits on this area.

 

Cloud in the education market: how to put it into practice?

Some people believes that utilizing cloud computing in education is a process associated mostly with the subjects from the area of information technologies. This is a common mistake! Cloud computing opens completely new, unknown chapters in education:

  • interactive teaching resources, demonstrating various processes, adopting to the users. They takes into consideration e.g. users’ age and his current state of knowledge,
  • knowledge exchange and management platforms, supporting scientific surveys,
  • complex e-learning platforms: d-learning (distance-learning) and mobile-learning (m-learning) – it’s most recent form basing on the widest utilization of the wireless technology. These are complex environments delivered in SaaS (Software as a Service) model. Apart from demonstrating the processes (e.g. in the life sciences), they consists testing facility (electronic tests), delivering the materials in the form of e-books, information sharing and workgroup platforms, and even more complex solutions managing the whole education process (Learning Management Systems),
  • educational facility management systems enabling automation of the processes and making them accessible from the outside, e.g. remote access to the schedules, diaries, examination charts, etc. It is worth to mention that such solutions are utilized in present, delivered in SaaS model. These are especially electronic diaries at schools and Electronic Studies Service System (Uniwersytecki System ObsÅ‚ugi Studiów).

Utilizing cloud solutions proves that tuition could be offered as a service in the full meaning of this word. It is also strongly visible that cloud computing opens completely new market challenges on many school system levels: solutions designing and implementing, distribution, and many more.

 

Oktawave believes in ambitious people

In Oktawave we fully realize how important knowledge and education are. We are also aware that many ambitious plans had to be postponed when confronted with the reality.

This was the key assumption in designing Startup program. Our aim was to support young and ambitious initiatives on the area of Internet technologies. Members of this program would receive free of charge infrastructure in any size as well as marketing support. More information could be obtained from the website: https://www.oktawave.com/startup.html.



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