By Kristoff Barnowicz
Do you know what is the relationship between cloud computing and education? But to start, do you know what is cloud computing?
To put it simply, cloud computing are web applications. Companies such as Google, Microsoft Hotmail, Salesforce and now Adobe host their services online ‘cloud’ for free or subscription based. Microsoft office is another example of a program that was once installed on your computer by CD is now available for online access.
Here are 5 benefits of cloud computing in education to improve your life and academic productivity.
1. Multiple Accounts
Subscriptions to Apps like Office 365 can be shared across many users. This is perfect for anyone wanting to share account subscriptions but keeping it personalised and private. There is a cost advantage buying in the packaged bundle too.
2. Multiple Devices: Anywhere, anytime.
With a majority of households stockpiling an arsenal of devices, web applications are accessible and compatible across the board: Mac, PC, Tablets, Phone etc. If you are always on the go between locations, files are synchronised and ready for access at any time.
This feature is extremely handy for photo sharing and storing, trust me, you will sleep like a baby knowing it’s secured in the cloud because there’s nothing worse than losing important course material, business files or a family archived photo history because a lightning storm fried your hard drive.
For paid subscriptions, support is at no cost and updating is automatic which means programs remain current with security fixes and upgrades. This also means that security updates are current and the bugs are (for the most part) ironed out - win.
4. File Sharing For Students
This is where the cloud reigns supreme. For MCI Institute students undergoing online qualifications, understanding the benefits of cloud services such as Google Drive is handy. Having a Gmail account (which I recommend) you have access to Google Apps and allows access to many of their web applications, google photo’s has unlimited photo storage for instance. Google Drive however is perfect for file sharing, especially large files.
Similar to apps like Dropbox, you can access, share and sync your files across multiple devices. This feature shines when you are required to upload assessment audio or video files and the usual method is not cutting it.
5. Google Docs: Mentor/Student Collaboration
Google Docs is brilliant. It is a cloud based word processor that allows multiple users to collaborate on the same document, in real time, quickly and efficiently. This means you can share your assessment material with your mentor in real time online, no more emailing back and forth and scrambling for lost attachments.
The pop up chat window feature in Docs is a mentor favourite while both working on the same document with their student. This allows the freedom to study but still have access to the mentor's feedback on call.
"By sharing tasks with students on Google Drive, I don't have to guess where they are looking and what they are typing in the task; I can just see them type in their answers. Docs also helps them work through questions they are not sure about, in this way it is a more interactive way of communicating with their mentor." - Mentor Ellie Jun
It is a time saver and with many students juggling the demands of life and study Google Docs is a smart option. Again, all your documents are secure in the cloud and you have peace of mind knowing they are tucked away safely.
So if your head isn’t in the cloud right now it might be worthwhile signing up for a free Google account to access these powerful web applications on offer. If you still have questions, feel free to ask your current student mentor. Study with cloud computing could be a good improve for you.