Cloud computing growth in the education market hits record highs in 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed how people live around the globe. There is no sector of life that has not been affected by it.
Education has felt the effects of the coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns worse than most other sectors. Local and federal governments and institutions of higher learning have been scrambling to try to keep educating people without having them physically present in school.
The education system has remained virtually stagnant for half a century. How things are taught in school, with a teacher being in front of a group of students, is how things have been taught forever. It is surprising to think about how little has changed in the education system when one compares that to the changes that have been seen in other sectors over the past 50 years.
Prior to COVID-19, classroom settings followed a pattern that was set up during the industrial era. Teachers teach facts and principles, students repeat them, and then they are tested on what they learned. Success is predicated using the ability of the student to score higher than average on the standardized test.
How COVID-19 Is Challenging the Way Education Is Offered
COVID-19 has made it apparent that the education system, be it public education or higher education, needs to embrace innovative styles of teaching. Technology, especially cloud computing technology – such as cloud-based tools and cloud storage options – must play a bigger role in how students are educated.
COVID-19 has forced schools to rethink how they finance education. We especially see this in higher education where a lot of money is being lost because students aren’t parking, they’re not buying food, and they’re not purchasing products or services that centers of higher education used to generate income.
Some universities are being forced to reimburse students the cost of tuition because they have not held classes or the classes have not met the standards the students have expected. Centers of education need to embrace cloud computing and cloud communication. Only by taking advantage of virtual engagement modalities will education centers be able to stay relevant. Besides allowing them to engage their students regardless of external circumstances, cloud computing and cloud communication make it possible to reduce costs and grow the student population.
Higher education will especially need to embrace cloud technology and virtual learning. Attending public school is not optional for minors. Going on to higher education is optional and is often predicated by an individual’s ability to attend the school and their ability to afford the school.
COVID-19 has created a financial vacuum. Millions of people around the world have lost employment. Young people who were considering going to university have had to readjust their priorities in order to help their families survive financially. And the future looks uncertain.
Universities and other centers of higher education cannot offer solid answers about what the future of their educational programs will be. They cannot convincingly provide solutions to the challenges that the current environment presents for people looking to get a higher education. Students realize that they can ill afford to take on debt. Since the future job market looks uncertain, students understandably question the value of investing in an education that they might not receive without interruption and that might not lead to them finding the employment they desire.
Is Cloud Computing the Answer to Education’s Woes?
In 2020, cloud computing and e-learning have taken on greater importance than any other time in recent history. Public school systems and universities are inviting their students to continue their education online. Online tech and coding bootcamps are becoming increasingly popular at the moment as well. Modern technology has reached the point where seamless video communication and collaboration are possible. Technology is a tool and a catalyst that is changing education.
This does not mean that technology’s integration in education is seamless or without challenges. However, the potential of cloud computing to enhance learning should not be minimized. Technology and cloud computing were introduced into the school system just a few years ago.
Cloud computing offers the benefit of increased efficiency and effectiveness for both the teachers and the students. It has been a catalyst for pedagogical change by tackling issues that COVID-19 has created for both students and teachers.
What Is the Future of E-Learning?
There are a lot of unknowns with online learning. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the education system to react to a situation as opposed to plan for it and roll it out in an organized and prepared way. This means that teachers are learning on the go. They need to adapt to circumstances and situations unique to e-learning that their training has not prepared them for.
One challenge is insufficient infrastructure in many parts of the world. There is low bandwidth, so students cannot get the full force of the education they are receiving. Likely, with or without the pandemic, the future of education will reflect some hybrid model with students spending some time face-to-face with educators and some time receiving online education.
There have been many public schools and universities that have successfully transitioned their education program to online courses. The most successful are those that already had an e-learning model in place. All it required was for them to expand features of what they were already doing.
Many educators and students are commenting on the benefits they receive from e-learning. Chat groups, video meetings, and document sharing allow teachers to reach out to their students effectively. It is possible for teachers and students to have more one-on-one contact with each other. Students feel more confident to communicate with the teacher in private chat rooms. They can ask questions that they might feel embarrassed to ask in front of the entire class.
As 2020 moves to 2021, educators are going to continually examine whether e-learning is effective. For people who have the right technology, e-learning offers several benefits.
It is unclear how long and to what extent e-learning will be part of public education and higher education. What is clear is the need to find novel ways to disseminate knowledge. These alternative ways must be able to transcend borders and have the ability to reach all parts of society.