eLearning and Cloud Computing

One of the best technological advancements to happen to eLearning is cloud computing, which will significantly streamline the learning process and infrastructure. This in turn will make it easier on students, educators and administrators as they work towards academic excellence.

Cloud computing basically allows all members of an academic community to store information in a central cloud location. No longer do they keep separate files on their hard drives. Instead, the files are kept on remote servers to which all members have access.

Cloud computing has some great benefits for eLearning practices.

Collaboration

Cloud computing encourages collaboration among learners and teachers and others in academic communities. Because it’s easy to access files, different users can make copies of or changes to a document. A teacher, for instance, can easily suggest revisions on a student essay; all he or she would have to do is access the paper in the cloud, save his or her comments, and notify the student in the system. There are no more paper materials to carry around and no more back and forth emails. Everything is combined into one system for easy access.

Cost of Materials

Because the cloud allows all sorts of streamlining options, many educators and students can spend less on various materials. An instructor could upload all reading materials to the cloud. This would eliminate the need for expensive textbooks or printing costs. Students would only have to worry about the cost of a computer, which would be used for all eLearning courses.

Record-Keeping

In the event of academic disputes, teachers and students can resort to examining the ‘paper trail’ in the cloud. By checking the access logs or look at the various drafts of a paper that were uploaded they could determine whether or not a paper was plagiarized or submitted late. Students could use these records as well to help them with transfer credit appeals and other academic situations.

Convenience

Cloud computing offers students and teachers alike a more convenient and efficient learning experience. The cloud keeps everything in one place: class records, attendance, assignments and readings. Everyone simply logs in to work with the materials. This is great news, especially for online students, who need flexibility in order to be successful in their eLearning programs.