The term e-learning is generally used to describe a broad spectrum of internet-based education. Whether you are a college student who is attending lectures on Zoom or an employee who is attending training sessions on your company’s learning management system – all fall under the umbrella of e-learning. While e-learning was already gaining momentum over the years, the recent pandemic has turned it into an essential commodity for a majority of the population.
It is unfortunate that a majority of the software does not have the capacity to adapt to the dynamic changes the academic content generally requires. If an institute tries to use PCs as a singular, e-learning access point, there are going to be recurring costs for frequent system updates, integrations, and installations. Moreover, such decentralised systems limit the e-learning content to a specific location. That is why e-learning systems are leveraging cloud technologies to transition to centralisation.
Cloud Computing and E-Learning
Cloud computing has made a lot of buzz in recent times with its range of services through the internet. Be it storing of data, use of servers or networking – cloud computing technologies have made it easier for people in different industries and programming help to work and serve remotely. If you are unaware of cloud computing, here is what you need to know.
Cloud computing is a flexible, internet-based data storage hosting service which allows e-learning providers to host their academic material and programming help as well as the proprietary software over a centralised network. With the help of cloud technologies, users can access e-learning content from anywhere with a network connection. Since the technology supports Big Data and multimedia stream, it frees the providers from bandwidth limitations.
How Are Cloud Computing Technologies Benefitting the E-Learning Industry?
Cloud computing technologies offer the software, hardware and platform, so that users can not only access the data on the cloud as per their convenience but also interact with each other. Besides, cloud computing offers a bunch of advantages to e-learning providers. Some of the crucial ones are discussed below:
- Staying up to date:
Software updates are essential for the infrastructure of the e-learning systems. Regular updates help improve the functionality and quality of the e-learning content. Thanks to cloud computing technologies, the e-learning providers do not need to manually make the update on each computer. The updates occur automatically and become functional immediately from all access points.
As mentioned, the cloud technologies centralise the entire e-learning system, eliminating the manual labour a decentralised system needs. Administrators are now able to run updates through the cloud. In fact, storing and implementing software from a third-party server allows them to deploy updates and then wait for the students to access their content from various access points.
- Immersive learning experience:
Cloud-based e-learning environment offers a rich and immersive learning experience to every student. With interactive features like the quizzes and competitive gamified content, it provides the students depth of understanding and level of retention which traditional learning seldom does. Some lectures even include group participation and pave the way for peer-to-peer learning.
Thanks to cloud technologies, remote collaborations have become a lot easier for the students. No matter which part of the world they are from, they can now work together on projects and power through the lessons. By serving e-learning services over the cloud, the current educators are slowing transitioning from in-class, traditional learning to the better and more immersive learning experience with effectiveness.
- Cutting down the cost:
As mentioned previously, e-learning not only benefits the academic institutions but also helps all sizes of businesses across various industries migrate their instructor-led training programs online. While the regular updates and seamless collaboration do make cloud-based e-learning a great option to consider, it is also gaining huge popularity across all industries by reducing their expenses to a great extent.
Decentralised e-learning systems help the providers eliminate inconsistency. Cloud computing offers scalability as it allows the administrators to pay for the resources they use and nothing more. Such scalability comes with unlimited bandwidth and complete flexibility.
- Collection of data:
With the centralised, cloud-based e-learning system, it is now easier for educators to monitor the learning behaviour of the students and evaluate their progress. The e-learning service providers can now use the data to offer relevant, individualised study materials to students and help them learn better as per their learning speed.
With cloud-based e-learning systems, it is also possible for educators to offer a personalised learning environment to students where they can learn without being intimidated by other kids. Also, from the administrative point of view, e-learning systems offer better ways to manage student data, their scores, their overall progress and more.
- Global education:
Since e-learning courses are not confined within the four walls like the traditional classrooms, it allows the educators to bring global education to the computers of the students. Thanks to the growing popularity of the remote lectures, students are now able to expose themselves to a global learning experience.
“Education for all” has been a major agenda for the educators all around the globe, and thanks to cloud-based e-learning systems, it is now possible to reach the remote locations of the world. It may not be possible to reach students all over the world right now due to lack of access to technical equipment. However, e-learning has shown some positive results, which gives us all the hope for a better tomorrow.
It is quite evident from the aforementioned discussion that cloud computing has taken e-learning to a whole new level. And since cloud computing technologies are evolving with time, it is safe to assume that it will also bring some positive changes in the field of e-learning as well as the education industry as a whole.