What is EdTech?
Educational Technology, more popular as EdTech, is a practice where classrooms meet IT tools to provide students with more engaging, interactive, inclusive, and individualized learning. EdTech facilitates learning by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.
In the era of digital lesson plans and remote learning, IT systems – particularly cloud-based platforms – are becoming increasingly valuable. This sector includes several methods of teaching, such as online classes, learning management systems, and so on, allowing students of all ages to learn in various of ways and providing more opportunities for educators to educate their students.
Role of Cloud in EdTech
Learning and teaching are no longer confined to the closed walls of textbooks but have grown to a larger space of technology – computers and mobile phones.
With flexibility in storage capacity, the best security services, easy-to-use features, and mechanisms, cloud computing has all the benefits EdTech needs.
The EdTech market size was valued at USD 254.80 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 605.40 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 15.52% during the forecast period.
Cloud provides online data storage and accessible information from remote locations that require minimal human effort. Cloud computing migrates the entire or part of on-premise/ physical education infrastructure to the internet.
The advanced serverless architecture can help EdTech companies run fully managed, remote institutional workloads at twice the speed of an on-premises infrastructure while improving responsiveness, business intelligence, ROI, and enhancing future innovation.
The concept and ease of a student sitting in India, taking up a course in the UK that seemed like an unachievable and impossible scenario a few years back, is possible now for the existence of the Cloud. So, the Cloud, the centre of it all, has attracted attention and boosted the learning game.
Boons and Banes of Cloud for EdTech
Two sides to a coin, good and bad. Let us go through some boons and banes of the Cloud in EdTech.
1. Cost Savings for Long-term – The shift of educational organizations to a cloud-based education system saves the users high costs. Teachers and learners can both experience the benefits here. Students do not need to spend or invest in expensive books and applications due to the availability of these learning resources on the Cloud itself. Teachers can lower their management costs by simplifying processes like enrolment and assignment tracking. The pay-as-you-go feature of Cloud makes it the most cost-effective method.
2. Scalability – Compared to on-premise infrastructure, Cloud-based services are scalable with reduced cost and more efficiency. Cloud computing enables schools, colleges, and universities to scale up the learning process quickly and easily. As a result, organizations on Cloud can handle an increasing number of students without any hassles.
Scalability helps manage peak traffic spikes while events like training registrations and assignment submissions are ongoing. Once the traffic goes down, it can be scaled down to reduce the wastage of cloud resources and the cost of services.
3. Increased Collaboration – With Cloud, remote learning in virtual classrooms with tools and tablets encourages students to learn together with learning programs and games, which also helps strengthen their communication. Students can upload their homework and share and discuss their thoughts with one another. Teachers benefit through the collaboration by developing portals to keep track of student activities, all online.
4. Ease of Accessibility – Cloud potential remains unmatched regarding accessibility, with professional and higher education not bound to a specific time or place. Users, students, and teachers are free to access course content, applications, and data anytime and anywhere. Teachers can make learning more interesting now with virtual learning and keep track of specific student requirements. Students can now pursue their degrees at their convenience, from anywhere and anytime around the globe.
5. Secured Data Storage – Organizations delivering learning through the Cloud can adopt a VPN to ensure data security. Students and teachers can sign-up for a VPN-based cloud learning platform for safeguarding their data. This means the learning content can be easily transferred to the users without compromising its integrity.
6. Agile & Innovative – Agile and innovative virtual learning benefits users by allowing them to experiment faster and more frequently. Teachers can innovate ways by using new tools and features that can be developed, tested, and deployed in the applications to create better student learning experiences.
A built-in analytic system comes in handy when organizations shift to the Cloud; that way, teachers can keep track of individual performances and help adequately evaluate student performance. Based on that, teachers can shift to adaptive teaching techniques. Analytics also helps find weaknesses in students effectively through visualization tools reducing manual time and effort.
1. Internet Service Dependency – A significant drawback of EdTech is its dependency on Internet service providers. Without internet connectivity, the stored information becomes inaccessible. Poor internet bandwidth and power outages can interrupt online classes leading to disruption in class.
2. Security Risk – With the best security services, the Cloud can also fail to secure stored information, with inherent risks attached. Without a doubt, the Cloud provides an uptight security system, but it would fail to secure the data if not properly stored, falling vulnerable to cyberattacks. Educational organizations are full of confidential information which needs to be stored securely. To safeguard all that information, every user needs to be trained on the features of the Cloud, or else the threat of cyberattacks remains.
3. Reduced Control – As the external Cloud service provider handles an organization\’s infrastructure, one barely controls the updates, system, training, or other features.
4. Vendor Lock-In – Advancement in switching between two service providers hasn’t entered the technological scenario yet. Hence, institutions find it hard to relocate their services from one vendor to another. Moreover, gaps that remain while migrating from one provider to another may compromise confidential information.
5. Up-front expenses: While the cost reduction is one essential advantage of moving to a public Cloud, it may sometimes be costly.
In some scenarios, Cloud migration might not be cost-effective. For example, EdTech companies have to spend considerable money training their in-house team on the new system and understanding security best practices.
There are two sides to everything, a positive and a negative. The consciousness of choosing the right side is essential for growth and learning, without which one will only face the disadvantages. Similarly, for EdTech\’s, as much as Cloud has benefitted the learning and growth process, it can harm the students if they don’t use technology for educational purposes.
If you are an educational organization that wishes to benefit from cloud-based learning, contact us.