4 ways the cloud can help schools

The cloud can help schools reduce costs and increase collaboration.

Schools are always looking for ways to improve communication and collaboration between teachers, students and staff – and ways to save money while still delivering top-notch education. Cloud computing – any computer resources accessed virtually – can help schools do all this.

4 ways the cloud can benefit schools

  1. Smarter financial planning
    In Kentucky, 173 school districts recently moved to an enterprise resource planning system. Officials feel this will help them track and allocate money to different schools. The new cloud-based system will be more reliable, cheaper to maintain and will make it easier for the state to combine a lot of different information into one system. Better financial planning means smarter use of education dollars!
  2. Videoconferencing
    In school districts and colleges, students and staff may be spread out across the country or even around the world. Cloud-based video conferencing allows people to communicate wherever they are. This is great for online learning and colleges with a high commuter population. It can even by used by school administration to communicate with other districts, schools or professionals who aren't in the area. All of this broadens the reach of schools and cuts down on travel costs.
  3. Productivity
    From email to file-sharing to classroom management, cloud-based software can be such a time and money saver for schools. Because information can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, it's much easier for staff to do their jobs on-the-go and for students to access educational materials even if they're not sitting at classroom computers. A higher level of productivity and access means educators and students can do more using existing resources.
  4. Collaboration
    Learning is all about interaction. The cloud makes it much easier to share project files with a group of people and work together in real time on school assignments.Teachers can also use the cloud to share educational content with their students and teach in totally new ways, like using videos, social media and web-based applications.

Awareness of risks
Although the benefits outweigh the risks, it's still important for schools to be conscious of potential problems. There's the issue of student privacy. Data stored in the cloud may be vulnerable to a cyberattack if it's not secured properly, which could result in schools being fined and their reputations damaged. IT administrators need to make sure that cloud-based IT is secure and student data is protected.

What do you think about the cloud? Do you think the rewards trump the risks? Share your thoughts with us below!

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.