It is an unfortunate reality of the modern schooling system that education is not evenly distributed among students, and some don't receive any at all. The quality of learning can differ widely from school to school and teacher to teacher.
To combat this problem, many schools have begun integrating cloud platforms into their classrooms. Cloud computing provides computational resources for teaching and learning both cost-effectively and with the flexibility that education requires. The cloud makes applications available to students, teachers and administrators quickly and inexpensively.
By using open source software instead of paying licensing fees for a proprietary system, schools are able to save money on their IT budgets. The Medical College of Wisconsin's Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center utilizes cloud tools to create the infrastructure for cutting edge research projects. Cloud-computing is able to make the center's analysis less expensive and more accessible.
Apart from licensing fees, school can save money by implementing cloud-based servers. Electric bills are greatly reduced, and the cost to replace old equipment is dramatically decreased.
"It has gotten us out of the cycle of constantly having to go through procurement and buying new equipment," explained Mark Dumican, deputy head of St. Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High. "We're predicting we won't have to change anything for at least 10 years."
Reaching every child
Cloud-servers also allow students to complete work at home with the exact same tools and programs they would at school, as everything is available online. This is especially helpful when considering that not all students respond to the same style of teaching. Interactive, cloud-based content can help teachers to create more personalized course work that is tailored to each student's learning style. If a child learns better by hearing a lesson, for example, they can choose to study by downloading a lecture on the topic instead of reading from a textbook.
"Cloud-based digital content is inherently flexible; it can be annotated, modified or expanded upon in different directions, depending on the needs of each student. Textbooks are not," explained Katharine Frase in a blog post for Wired. "That's one of the many reason why some schools are introducing digital curriculums."
Cloud computing allows schools to access advanced software and educational applications it might not otherwise be able to have, which can in turn be used to create a richer and broader curriculum.