have long advocated the use of Cloud Computing in academic research in
this blog. It is my opinion that Cloud Computing helps academia by
- In the current tight funding situations, a low cost option to high end computing
an easy way to scale up and down based on their needs thereby
conserving the tax payers money for more fruitful research
- A several fold increase in efficiency, thereby, helping scientists to get their results fast
is not just the academic research that will benefit from Cloud
Computing. Its impact can be felt even at the school level. Recently, I
wrote a post
pointing to a story about how Windows Azure is being tapped in Ethiopia
to help their school system. In fact, it is not necessary that only
cash strapped countries can gain from the use of Cloud Computing. Every
country can save millions by plugging their education system into the
clouds. It is not just the millions that makes the Cloud attractive to
education. It is the boost in efficiency and productivity of both the
teachers and the students that are equally important.
Recently, I came across a very good article
on the topic on Datacenter Journal. If you are interested in learning
more about the use of Cloud Computing in the school system, I strongly
urge you to read the article.
There are some inherent advantages from Cloud Computing. However, I
will pick up some of the important points from the article (of course,
in my opinion) and then add my thoughts on it.
One of the most
vital points which we overlook while talking about IT in any
organization is the issue of software licensing. This becomes all the
more important when it comes to always in a tight financial crunch
school system. The traditional software licensing system is a mess. In
fact, some of them are even exploitative. These licenses suck the money
and time from the school systems. They desperately need a simpler
licensing model. They don’t want to spend more and more money on
licenses and, also, want to invest minimal staff in managing their
computing requirements. Cloud Computing, in general, and SaaS, in
particular, offers them an easy way to get over the clutches of the
traditional licensing models. The amount of money and time saved by
schools due to the switch to a Cloud based system is very vital in
strengthening the education system from America to Asia to Africa.
As I noted in my earlier post
about the use of Cloud Computing in the Ethiopian school system, the
greatest advantage of Cloud Computing is the shared management
resources. Either by running these management systems on a Cloud based
infrastructure or by tapping into the SaaS ecosystem, the schools can
maximize their efficiency while keeping the costs low.
philosophy behind any school system is learning and experimentation. It
is only natural that schools would want to experiment with different
kinds of applications and platforms. Under the traditional software
system, this is expensive and difficult to implement. Cloud Computing
offers greater flexibility to experiment with newer apps and platforms.
low cost of Cloud Computing associated with ubiquitous availability
makes it a suitable candidate to level the playing field in education
across many countries. Not only it is possible to implement an
universal curriculum for all the schools within a country, Cloud
Computing makes it easy to give students from America to Africa to Asia
the same experience in education.
I am not hyping up Cloud
Computing here but it has tremendous potential in remaking the school
system for efficiency and cost savings. It is time for “CIOs” of the
school systems to seriously consider Cloud Computing for all their