Turning to the Cloud is something that so many of us find ourselves doing in parts or in whole personally.  What benefits can the cloud bring to education?  Today’s guest blogger, Victor Daily discusses. ~EMP

Is cloud computing really an effective solution for issues and problems faced by the educational institutions today? Can it really live up to its reputation? Or is it merely another shallow promise developed to produce demand and loosen more funds from industries and institutions already tight on their IT budgets?

Before we discuss the sensible questions above, let’s first identify cloud computing in a general context. Cloud computing is the process of rendering computing and storage capacity as a utility. In simpler terms, you pay to get extra storage for the information you store online. Cloud computing utilizes military-grade security systems and remote database facilities to store client data.

Now, back to the main topic, how can cloud computing impact education? We’ve all heard in the past how cloud computing services benefited the business and healthcare industries. Can it be the same when it comes to  education?

Cloud computing services enable delivering of computer programs to students without the need for them to purchase, download, install or update software on their computers and servers.

One of the main benefits of cloud computing is on the financial side. The services are paid based upon how much and how often they are used. The software applications and storage space are hosted and supported on databases of the cloud computing service provider, also known as hosts. With this, educational facilities, including colleges and universities, do not have to purchase software that only a single student will use, fund technologies that are rapidly outdated or invest countless hours on technical services. Moreover, cloud computing services also provide a broader range of software that would otherwise be impractical to purchase separately.

In general, cloud computing enables educational institutions to enter real-time data from anywhere in the globe in mere seconds. This is dynamically crucial as it provides teachers and students to consistently upgrade their stock of data. Cloud computing also enables professors and students to enter applications and other important tools free of charge.

There are other practical advantages from employing cloud computing services, according to analysts. With this particular service, there is hypothetically no bounds to how much information can be stored as compared to PC or Mac systems filling up quite fast with only a limited amount of stored data. This makes cloud computing services considerably powerful to integrate. IT sectors of schools will not have to update their software programs or firmware.

Cloud computing services also render basic collaboration tools. Information can be entered with the use of a simple web browser, enabling students to access information and applications from anywhere and at anytime.

Experts today are requesting the US government to fund cloud computing for use by all educational facilities. They claim the service to be the one that will balance the academic playing field and promote equality for all students. Since cloud computing enables interconnectivity, students are more prone to openness. In simpler terms, they are capable to experience and feel what it is like in the real world.

Is there a drawback to employing cloud computing to the education industry? There has to be at least one, right? Security analysts and professionals suggest that cloud computing may force dependence on third-parties, which isn’t a good idea at all.

To wrap things up, cloud computing definitely offers a plethora of benefits that easily outweigh potential dangers and risks. Through cloud computing, schools will be able to enter real-time data from anywhere they are in the globe in less than a minute. And since the technology arrives as a new one, it not only becomes efficient, but also environmental friendly.

Victor Daily is a marketing consultant and writer for Ninefold. With plenty of experience in writing about cloud computing, he currently explores it’s implementation in healthcare and education, accessing benefits and downsides of this emerging technology.