Laura Del Vecchio
© Wayhome Studio @ stock.adobe.com
Even nowadays, with the increasing access to digital tools, educational systems are still dependent on documentation: export, import, certification, and scoring all are tracked and analyzed largely through large amounts of paper-based procedures. In the long-term, these processes could be made through online platforms, which in turn would enable all documents to be created and stored in the cloud, facilitating their management, the flow between actors, and enhancing efficiency throughout the whole education system.
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is a cloud computing-based system to manage data, allowing users to run applications from remote locations. The solution offers software licenses, infrastructure, maintenance and communication systems within an application or website. It can increase privacy and security levels for all types of organizations with large quantities of documents and reports that need to have more control over their operating storage.
Cloud Computing meets Education
Besides reducing or eliminating the need for heavy backpacks, cloud computing is changing education by providing remote access to the content presented in class. At home, an online platform provides students with access to homework, research, extra activities, interactions between institutions and students via social media platforms, and conferencing software.
Cloud computing is a business model that helps teachers with both instantly upload learning materials and students' performance management. It can also help administrators in their tasks, as they can take advantage of this system by easily administrating services or collaborating with one another.
Since it is cloud-based, contents may be visualized in a vast range of devices with different levels of interactivity. Minimal hardware requirements can make it possible for affordable smartphones. In some contexts, XR equipment such as XR Glasses can be used for interaction with similar content on different levels, depending on each set-up.
By eliminating barriers of place and time, cloud education enables the integral delivery of content at all times. The access to better and more expensive devices, and therefore, supposed better experience, might increase the level of the digital divide between different social fabrics. However, the possibility of different students being based on the same system and having access to the same general content could bridge some inequality gaps.
In cases of developing economy countries or in natural catastrophes scenarios, a cloud-based educational system may reduce infrastructural costs considerably by enabling the existence of virtual classrooms. Cloud education may provide not only an accessible and affordable educational system, but it can serve as a safe platform for data storage, once organizations can opt by the adoption of a VPN to ensure security.
Shifting the learning experience from physical books and classrooms to digital devices and content platforms could make learning more personalized and engaging. It opens the possibility for learners to engage with contents at their own speed and terms, while also freeing them from some traditional space and time-bounded constraints.