Many of the most prominent difficulties higher education institutions face involving two things: budgeting and educational resources. It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic caused both to run drier than anyone feels comfortable with, but 2020 also skyrocketed the role that digital technologies play in the traditional classroom experience.
As students traded desks for desktops, virtual classrooms, online testing, and assignment submission portals all became a daily occurrence for students and teachers alike. As with many industries taking a more proactive approach to join the cloud computing ecosystem, there are huge positives and challenges to the process. Here are just a few ways higher education is changing in the wake of the cloud computing revolution.
Challenges in Higher Education: How Cloud Computing Can Help
There are plenty of things administrators must monitor in running and expanding institutions such as colleges and universities. Whether you’re a long-established public college or a private school seeking increased enrollment, there are challenges that come with the increasingly technological nature of education. Even in a year not riddled with pandemic-related complications, technology can prove to be a huge headache for administrators, educators, and students.
One major impact on education that some overlook is the role of internet service providers. A fast, reliable internet connection is tough enough to provide a home or office let alone an entire educational institution. The complications that come with managing ISPs and their connectivity offerings only become more apparent when relying on cloud computing services. These services require the internet to function, so there’s a good chance that while cloud computing fixes a lot of issues, it may reveal shortcomings in other areas. While difficult to manage, this can also be enlightening as higher education officials look to what investments need to be made for the 2020s and beyond.
Cloud computing isn’t merely just a tool to identify issues like internet connectivity or address security concerns. With more and more schools looking to online programs as a means of keeping enrollment up, cloud computing offers the best experience for both in-person and virtual students.
The Positive Impact of Cloud Computing for Colleges and Universities
Resources are what truly make or break an institution’s ability to provide students a quality education. For starters, cloud computing services like virtualization and digital desktops allow students consistent access to the programs they need for class no matter where they might be on campus. For online students, these platforms are easy to securely access from home thanks to online portals.
It’s not just schools that can be underserved by the resources at their disposal. Things like hardware, technology, and consistent internet are tough to come by for students as well. The cost of a laptop for example might not be feasible for a student attending a university through grants and loans. Money is a big problem in higher education for institutions but the cost is also rising for students. By utilizing cloud computing services to help curb institutional budgets, these resources also help take some of the burdens off of students.
Cost and accessibility aside, cloud computing services also offer higher education the most collaborative educational experience imaginable. From connectivity with students and professors to an easy-to-organize online database for class materials, readings, and other resources related to a class, cloud computing provides the best educational experience possible in 2021.
The modernization of learning environments in higher education will have a direct impact on the future of our institutions and students. These learners go on to be the leaders in industries that impact the world, and the more we let cloud computing grow the reaches of what a student can access and learn while in school, the better off we all are across all walks of life.
Investing Now to Ensure a Greater Tomorrow for Students and Educators
While 2020 might force some institutions to find places to cut services, the investments made in cloud computing technology and other digital learning tools must not go away. In fact, those who invested in 2020 to expand the learning experience beyond the classroom will likely find that more investments in these areas will yield quicker recoveries to student enrollment as well as the quality of learning provided to students and accessible to teachers.
Where can cloud computing take higher education? The work that takes place in these institutions every day shapes our future. By harnessing the power of the cloud to enrich these programs, the impact of research and education can grow exponentially to help make a more direct, immediate impact on the world. It’s an investment worth making many times over, and cloud computing will only continue to grow in utility as it finds its way into more impactful places.