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Transforming the education industry
COVID-19 forced the temporary shutdown of schools all over the world, leaving more than one billion students without classrooms, and teachers in desperate need to adapt quickly. It didn’t take long for live streaming to replace the classroom, whiteboards to be swapped for screens and notepads to be traded for a keyboard.

This rapid shift to cloud-based online learning affected schools, universities and education authorities across the globe and is already having a long-term transformative effect on education. In fact, pre-pandemic research from Absolute Market Insights suggested that cloud computing in higher education is expected to grow at a rate of 25.4% by 2027 – a figure that is likely to be considerably higher in the current climate.

The pure scale and speed by which virtual learning services were delivered at the start of the pandemic simply would not have been possible without world-class cloud hosting infrastructure. Let’s take a look at the benefits of cloud computing for the education sector…

Ease of accessibility
By shifting the emphasis from physical resources to virtual ones, teachers and students can come together in virtual classrooms, accessing course content, data and applications from anywhere, at any time, on any device.

Not so long ago, it would have been unimaginable that a student in one part of the world would be able to enrol on a course located thousands of miles away. The cloud breaks down geographical barriers and allows today’s teachers to create and deliver online learning irrespective of location.

Extensive cost-savings
Utilising the cloud can also considerably reduce costs – for both learners and education providers. With online learning, there is no need for students to invest in expensive, heavy textbooks that become quickly outdated, as everything is available virtually.

When it comes to education providers, shifting to cloud computing can provide significant cost-savings. With managed cloud providers like Hyve becoming an extension of your team, getting involved with support right up to the application layer, educational institutions can afford to downsize their IT teams, freeing up budget to spend on innovation and research.

Plus, without the need to buy and maintain their own hardware, power and licenses, educational organisations can leverage compute power, storage, and security services from cloud providers – saving them time and money. 

Secure data storage
Hosting your hardware in-house poses many security risks, so moving your infrastructure off-premise into a secure, controlled data centre gives you the peace of mind that sensitive student and employee information is kept safe. 

Most cloud providers will invest heavily in security measures and offer a range of security services including, but not limited to:

  • Firewalls
  • Web application firewalls (WAF)
  • VPNs
  • SSL certificates
  • Intrusion detection systems
  • Intrusion prevention systems
  • DDoS defence
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Penetration testing

As well as securing the physical hardware, cloud providers will ensure your data is hosted in controlled data centres with stringent physical security measures in place, such as 24/7 CCTV, biometric scanners, card readers, video monitors, and mantraps to prevent unauthorized access.

Organizations that deliver learning through cloud-based applications can also adopt a VPN to ensure data security. A VPN acts as a secure tunnel to easily transfer learning content to users without compromising its integrity. 

Uncapped scalability
Scalability refers to the infrastructure’s ability to keep up with growing numbers of users. Cloud computing allows for an increasing number of students on a platform (for example, enrollment day), so as the number of users grow, more resources can be added. 

This can also help with managing traffic spikes caused by events such as assignment submissions or training sessions. Similarly, you can just as easily scale down during a period of low activity, such as the Christmas break, to prevent wastage of resources. 

Increased collaboration
Nobody really enjoys a group project at school, but they are a substantial part of the learning process. Cloud-based services such as Sharepoint and Google Drive allow for seamless, real-time remote collaboration. 

Without the need to get multiple people in one physical room, group projects can be completed collaboratively online, at a time and place that suits each individual. Teachers can also provide feedback in real-time, removing the usual backlog of marking.

How will education change after COVID-19?
We’ve come a long way since the days of storing dissertations on floppy disks and carrying around heavy textbooks, and the pandemic has only accelerated technological progress. Learning is no longer confined to the classroom and today’s students are always connected – both on and off educational premises.

As the world becomes more remote, switching to the cloud is likely to become the norm. Cloud computing is not only powerful, but also affordable, and allows students to modernise their approach to learning.

With or without the pandemic, we’re already seeing a shift in the working world, with many employees working remotely at least some of the time. So, will the education sector follow suit?

Ready to graduate to cloud-enabled learning? Get in touch with one of our education hosting specialists today on 08006122524 or email sales@hyve.com

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