More than a year since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are still witnessing massive shifts in all aspects of our daily lives, from habits to possibilities and tasks. Some aspects were more affected than others; among those that mark a turnaround of epic proportions is education.
Remote learning and education: no longer just an option
E-learning was a thriving industry years before the coronavirus outbreak; mostly reserved for skill improvement of the business world. The global e-learning market had steady growth with a prediction of 325 billion $ worth by 2025.
Last year, however, opened a whole new dimension in remote education; it wasn’t just the matter of choosing an online course that will boost your CV or increase your chance of a pay rise. Globally, children and students lost the chance of going to the classrooms and universities and were caught off-guard by the transition to a remote learning model.
What’s necessary to make remote learning successful?
The shift to remote learning showed that there are two main tests to pass: the psychological one – both for teachers and students who are required to maintain the pre-pandemic level of academic excellence and learning focus. The other challenge is virtual classroom implementation.
Don’t confuse a Zoom session with a well-prepared online class. Reducing the impact of such a sudden switch from a physical to a virtual classroom requires setting up strong IT infrastructure that is able to serve loads of different requests, such as video streaming and downloading online resources with minimum or no latency, for a large number of users accessing content from different devices. A session relies on solid video conferencing software, tools which enable the teacher to keep track of attendees, and a system which provides cloud storage for all the learning material and documents. And this is just the beginning. . Migrating an entire educational institution fully online also raises the questions of security, privacy, and accessibility.
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Going from basic to advanced with cloud-based features
These days all eyes are on technology: to meet the demand of online learning you need to enlist the help of the cloud. All major cloud service providers, such as Amazon and IBM, were ready for the new era of learning and its accompanying challenges. The much-needed high availability is achieved thanks to scalability, applications, and server workloads that adjust to unpredictable traffic surges, bringing the benefits of the cloud’s economy of scale to the price-sensitive education institutions.
A fully functional virtual classroom that seemed like a faraway, complex and expensive venture for most, has become our ‘new normal’ thanks to the cloud, its practically limitless cycles of CPU and memory, and stable connection. In other words, the role of loud-based e-learning is to ensure on-demand class and material access from various endpoints to (tens of) thousands of students.
From a technological standpoint migrating your remote learning infrastructure to the cloud removes the need to manage and setup IT resources. It also means moving away from the traditional, server-based IT provisioning model which (like in the case of e-commerce businesses) leads to unused or overprovisioned server capacities. Last but not least, the massive workloads faced by institutions such as universities carry multiple security risks, making teachers and student’s data and privacy vulnerable. Prominent cloud platforms were designed to withstand a plethora of security threats and reduce risk by embedding certified and constantly improved security features to protect even the most security-sensitive institutions.
Where is cloud-based remote learning heading to?
Experts advise a cloud-first strategy to schools and highlight the numerous benefits of agile infrastructure and disruption-free experience. Academic institutions should be encouraged by the success stories of their peers across the globe, who have fostered an effective online learning environment whilst also cutting costs. managing the sudden rise in online learning attention and even saving some financial resources.
With a properly set, reliable and scalable remote-learning infrastructure, educational institutions can further leverage the cloud and its endless opportunities. New apps and features to upgrade the cloud-based remote learning experience can now be made in a matter of days thanks to dedicated cloud services and motivated software labs with a mission to forever change the way we learn.