What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services (including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence) over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
Is your school taking advantage of cloud computing?
Despite the many benefits of cloud computing, many schools have been slow to adopt this technology. One reason for this may be that some school leaders are unsure about what cloud computing is and how it can be used in education.
What are some of the ways schools can use cloud computing?
- Use cloud-based productivity tools: Tools like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offer an easy way for students and teachers to create and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. These tools are available for free and can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection.
- Store files in the cloud: Cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a convenient way to store, share, and access files from anywhere. These services offer free storage for basic users and more generous plans for schools and businesses.
- Use cloud-based learning management systems: Cloud-based LMSs like Schoology and Canvas offer a convenient way for teachers to create and manage online courses. These platforms provide features like gradebooks, assignment management, and discussion forums. Many LMSs offer free plans for small schools or districts.
- Use cloud-based assessment tools: Cloud-based assessment tools like Socrative and Quizlet Live offer a convenient way for teachers to create and administer quizzes and exams. These tools can be used to assess student understanding in real time. Many assessment tools offer free plans for small schools or districts.
- Use cloud-based communication tools: Cloud-based communication tools like Google Hangouts and Skype offer a convenient way for teachers and students to communicate with each other. These tools can be used for real-time messaging, voice calls, and video calls. Many communication tools offer free plans for small schools or districts.
What are some benefits of using cloud computing in education?
- Increased collaboration: Cloud-based productivity and communication tools make it easier for students and teachers to collaborate on projects and assignments. These tools also make it easier for educators to connect with experts outside of their school or district.
- Increased access to resources: Cloud-based learning management systems and assessment tools make it easier for teachers to find and use high-quality resources. These tools also make it easier for students to access resources from anywhere.
- Increased flexibility: Cloud-based productivity and communication tools offer a flexible way for students and teachers to work. These tools can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection, which means that students and teachers can work from anywhere.
- Increased scalability: Cloud-based services are highly scalable, which means that they can be easily expanded to meet the needs of a growing school or district. This is especially beneficial for schools that experience rapid enrollment growth.
- Increased security: Cloud-based services offer a secure way for schools to store and share data. These services often have built-in security features, such as encryption and user authentication.
What are some tips for using cloud computing in education?
- Choose the right service: There are many different cloud-based services available, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. Consider the features that are most important to you and compare different services before making a decision.
- Train your staff: Once you’ve chosen a cloud-based service, it’s important to train your staff on how to use it. Many providers offer training resources, such as tutorials and webinars.
- Monitor usage: It’s important to monitor how your staff and students are using cloud-based services. This will help you identify any potential problems and make sure that everyone is using the services correctly.
- Evaluate regularly: It’s important to evaluate your use of cloud-based services on a regular basis. This will help you determine whether or not the services are meeting your needs and if there are any areas for improvement.
These tips should help your school make the most of cloud computing. Remember, it’s important to choose the right service, train your staff, monitor usage, and evaluate regularly to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your investment.