What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the technology which uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain applications and data. It allows end-users and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files via any computer that has an internet access. Cloud computing allows computing to be much more efficient by centralizing data storage, processing and bandwidth at one point.
How can e-learning benefit from cloud computing?
An educational cloud can serve as a reservoir of information which students can access when they are connected through their mobile devices or PCs. An educational cloud can create the opportunity to focus the power of thousands of researchers and academicians on one problem as high quality computing is available without the hassle of maintaining a large server and data storage farm.
Additionally, e-learning delivered via the cloud has the following noteworthy benefits –
Lower cost in the long run
The cloud is a onetime investment with excellent returns in terms of computing capabilities and maintenance costs. The end user reaps the benefit of all the applications without having to spend on huge computing infrastructure and data storage space.
Since the cloud vendor is responsible for handling all the software – often for multiple clients, it is their job to keep the software updated to the latest standards at all times – something which may take a back seat if applications are in-house. And since the client’s devices are connected to the main cloud, any updates to the latter will automatically be applied.
Since e-learning relies on PCs, laptops, etc., device performance is a big concern. Often, applications which are located in a local server may suffer from low speeds, crashes and poor performance because of inadequate computing infrastructure. e-learning overcomes these drawbacks.
Support to asynchronous learning
E-learning is gaining popularity because of its flexibility and asynchronous nature that lets learners access courses wherever and whenever they want. Cloud computing allows learners to take courses, assessments, webcasts as well as get feedback online.
Benefits to instructors
Cloud based e-learning transforms the role of an instructor to a facilitator and ultimately results in better learning as the instructor spends less time in direct lectures and more on engaging learners through different media. He/she can update courses online, create a repository of high quality instruction material and manage multiple types of content to suit different types of learners.
Better file compatibility
Employee training content can often be sensitive in terms of formatting and appearance. Cloud based files and documents open from the cloud there by eliminating any risks of distortion.
System crashes and resultant data losses can cause huge setback to business by impairing the L & D department. Moreover, training may include confidential enterprise data that can be vulnerable to theft. Cloud based e-learning is a safer option as both the software and the data are located on remote servers that are well protected against security breaches.
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