One of the best technological advancements to come to eLearning is cloud-computing, which will significantly streamline the learning process and infrastructure, making it easier on students, teachers, and administrators as they strive towards academic excellence.
Cloud-computer essentially allows all members of an academic community to store information in a central cloud location; basically, they don’t keep separate files on their hard drives. Instead, the online program keeps them on a server to which all members have access. Users upload versions of the files to the shared server, and that server keeps the information secured based on what specific sharing settings each person uses. Because the information is located on a central computer, it actually creates many more opportunities for others to use that information.
Fortunately, this has some great benefits for eLearning practices.
First of all, cloud-computing significantly encourages collaboration among learners and teachers and others in academic communities. Because it’s easy to access files, many different users can make changes to a document, such as a plan for a department or a school project. Think of how easy it would be for a teacher to 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. 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 could spend less on various materials. A course instructor could upload all readings to the cloud, which would thus negate the need for an expensive textbook or for excessive printing costs. Students would only have to worry about the cost of a computer, which they could use across all courses. The long term return on a computer is much better than on a set of textbooks or course packets that they’ll only use once.
In the event of academic disputes, teachers and students can resort to examining the ‘paper trail’ in the cloud. In other words, they’d simply have to check the access logs or look at the various drafts of a paper that were uploaded to check as to whether or not a paper was plagiarized or submitted late. Similarly, students could use these records to help them with transfer credit appeals and other academic situations.
Finally, cloud-computing simply offers students and educators alike a much more convenient and efficient learning experience. The cloud keeps everything in one place: class records, attendance, assignments, syllabi, and readings. Everyone simply logs in to work with the materials; no longer do they have to lug heavy books around. This is great news, especially for online students, who need flexibility in order to be successful in their online programs.
|This guest contribution was submitted by Lenore Holditch, who specializes in writing about top online colleges. Questions and comments can be sent to: holditch.lenore @ gmail.com.|
There are so much going on in the area of e-Learning and schooX is always in the front line trying not only to provide a great experience for its members but also to inform everyone about the latest trends in Online Education.