Sep 05 2017

Cloud Computing for K–12 Will See Steady Growth Through 2021

Thanks to its cost, accessibility and innovation, school districts are embracing cloud to boost student outcomes.

With a large percentage of ed tech leaders saying that cloud-based software has helped their school districts increase efficiencies, it’s no surprise that the global cloud computing market in the education sector is expected to grow more than 26 percent a year until 2021.

This new research from Technavio found that cloud computing in education is growing because of the reduced cost of ownership, greater use of learning analytics and increased adoption of mobile learning.

“Cloud-based learning analytics help educators in analyzing pupil activities by tracking the digital footprints of students,” says Jhansi Mary, a Technavio lead analyst. “Teachers are improvising on teaching methodologies by integrating modern technologies such as blended learning and collaborative learning, thus creating an effective learning environment for students.”

In the K–12 sector, the proliferation of devices like tablets and Chromebooks has led to more blended and collaborative learning, as well as more mobile learning, due to the cloud software that runs on the devices. All in all, using cloud is more cost-effective for schools, which increases access.

“Cloud computing reduces the overall cost of ownership and improves staff productivity,” says Jhansi. “The use of cloud-based resources in education helps all the stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, and faculties by providing access to several learning avenues and possibilities for students, in turn enhancing the learning experience.”

Cloud Productivity Suites Lead Innovative Learning

Cloud-based tools like G Suite for Education and Microsoft Office 365’s Teams let students engage with more blended and collaborative learning, because the cloud structure lets them work whenever and wherever they like.

Using Google tools and Microsoft Teams, educators create a digital classroom hub where students get real-time feedback from teachers and peers.

“Going digital is unique in that it creates accountability for the students,” writes Bear Creek Middle School Principal Anthony Newbold on EdTech. “Assignments are all distributed digitally to their notebooks and channels, so students can work on them wherever they are. It also allows students who miss class an easy way to catch up.”

Chromebooks also make it easier for districts with a wide range of schools — from suburban to rural — to institute districtwide blended learning programs.

In line with the cloud growth, about 90 percent of school leaders plan to up their investment in Chromebooks and G Suite technology. Educators also indicated that Google’s cloud-based tools were the most popular productivity suite for the upcoming school year.

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