Effective Use of Cloud Computing in Education

Cloud technologies in education are already reaching a peak of its productivity. And such trends as the introduction of digital university models, gamification, and the acceleration of the introduction of new digital products emphasize the depth of the transformation processes taking place in education worldwide.

The relevance of the use of new information technologies is primarily due to the pedagogical needs to increase the effectiveness of developmental education, in particular, the need for the formation of skills for independent learning activities, which requires a research teacher, a creative approach to learning, the formation of critical thinking, information competence and culture. Such a promising direction of rapidly developing information technologies is cloud computing.

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Improvement of IT Infrastructure

The technical characteristics of modern hardware are being improved almost daily, which does not allow schools to update their material base according to the changing computing capabilities of modern computers and provide the educational process with the latest computer technology. The same problem is with software, which involves enormous material costs for maintaining appropriate information services for students. This problem can be solved by cloud technologies.

Cloud computing frees schools and districts from distractions from infrastructure management, reduces risk, and improves digital equity by allowing you to focus on your students. Cloud enables schools and communities to access the latest technology at an affordable cost, no matter the size. Besides, the cloud offers tools for various purposes, from server data management to virtual desktops, so that each student gets the attention they need to thrive.

Increse of Effectiveness of Educational Activities

The most common cloud-based service system used in the educational process is the Google service system. Using Google services (Docs and Presentations) makes it possible to carry out joint project activities in small and large groups. This cloud service allows discussion of emerging ideas in groups, joint editing in real-time by each of the project participants while performing tasks, the joint preparation of text files and presentations, and publishing of the results on the Internet in the form of public web pages. Using the Google Service (Sheets), you can create pivot tables and graphs with the subsequent analysis of the data obtained and track the stages of completing each assignment, conduct individual and joint practical work in various school disciplines.

Efficient Approaches for Testing and Exams

Using the Google service (Forms) allows the teacher to create interactive tests with different types of questions using special forms in the document, organize a quiz, and create polls for participants in the educational process. Another educational portal, LearningApps, offers the same opportunity. It allows each class to create a folder in the cloud that contains various tasks (quizzes, tests, games, videos) for students, which can be used at any stage of the lesson.

Improvement of Planning Processes

Planning the educational process using the Google Calendar service allows you to create a schedule of theoretical and practical classes, consultations, remind about the test and independent work, deadlines for the delivery of essays, projects, inform students about homework, or the transfer of classes.

Increase of Effectiveness and Quality of Lessons

The clouds can provide new analytics to improve the quality of lessons and measure the effectiveness of work. Modern cloud storage allows you to store all data, regardless of scale centrally, and provide detailed analytical information to all users. For example, American startup Apex Learning has developed a cloud-based platform for more flexible and granular tracking of student progress, using big data to customize the educational trajectory. And the cloud-based solution Naviance, which makes recommendations for choosing a specialty based on students’ success in mastering the school curriculum, allowed several Philadelphia colleges last year to increase the proportion of students who successfully completed educational programs by 67%.

Smart Campus

The concept of smart campuses and classrooms is based on the widespread use of automation of environmental management by collecting indicators from various sensors and metering devices. Based on IoT technology, a network of devices is created that track various indicators: the presence of air in classrooms, temperature, and light brightness facilitating the educational process. The educational environment can include school computers, smart boards, and projectors, personal devices that will be linked together. The smart class can identify students, recording their attendance, activity, if necessary, turn on and off devices, and integrate them into the educational process. It is also possible to automatically send assignments, additional sources, and literature that will help in the learning process. Standards for the construction of smart buildings, campuses, and classrooms in conjunction with the IoT, often used in the construction of corporate universities and business schools, are gradually spreading to the broader university segment. The ability of cloud environments to integrate smart engineering systems, provide additional services to both service organizations, university management, and, of course, students and teachers, significantly accelerate building a digital university.

Cloud technologies provide an alternative to the usual forms of organization of the educational process, creating conditions for individual teaching, interactive classes, and collective learning. Thus, the introduction of cloud technologies will not only improve the quality and efficiency of the educational process but also prepare the student for life in the information community keeping pace with the times.