Cloud Computing In Education: 5 Benefits And Challenges

5 Benefits And Challenges Of Cloud Computing In Education

How Can Cloud Computing Be Used In Education?

Cloud computing is a technology that allows people in education to access resources on-demand whenever they want and without the need to download anything. Institutions can utilize available software and services and only pay a small fee, so tutors and learners can upload files regardless of size. Students are able to enter the service anytime they want and watch videos, read texts, and open images seamlessly. Additionally, individuals can rest assured that their material is safe and won’t get lost in case of a virus infecting their computer or a technical issue requiring formatting their equipment. Students can also submit their essays and final exams to the cloud, where teachers read them, grade them, and send corrections and results digitally. Lastly, institutions store students’ data in the cloud, which provides easy access at any time and more efficient communication between teachers and parents.

Benefits Of Cloud Computing

Cost Reduction

In the past, institutions needed a lot of storage space for printed copies of books and other materials, spending thousands every year on paper and toner. Students would also purchase multiple books and hard drives for personal storage. However, cloud computing is cost-effective for education and allows everyone to store textbooks, essays, videos, and all kinds of data online. Students can access books using their computers and don’t need to make individual purchases. Schools aren’t required to own and manage any infrastructure or purchase expensive software. The only equipment everyone needs is a device that has internet connectivity. Therefore, this technology is eco-friendly, reducing the amount of printing and cutting back on travel expenses.


Enforcing the use of cloud computing in education improves collaboration between teachers and students, teachers and their peers, and the institution with parents. Students can submit essays online, ask questions, and request help privately. Also, teachers share data, grades, and plans while discussing them through video calls. They may arrange online lessons or webinars, and grant access to all participants. They simply share the storage link and instruct learners which files they must open. Therefore, everyone’s engagement levels increase since they have a sense of control over the learning and pace.

Scalability And Accessibility

The cloud is a very flexible tool that can fluctuate in size based on an institution’s needs. It can accommodate small and larger groups of participants successfully and help you manage your material, textbooks, and data. You don’t have to worry about it crashing during high-demand periods. For instance, if there is a big exam coming up and many students will enter the cloud, you can add extra computing power to meet the demands. Therefore, lessons and exams are fully accessible, and more students participate from wherever they are. Instead of going to the library at specified times, they enter the cloud whenever they wish to study for their exams.


To prevent confidential data from leaking and falling into the wrong hands, service providers typically enforce strong security measures. For instance, most institutions own VPNs that require strict authentication before entering the cloud. This way, only authorized people can access the provided data. Moreover, storing everything in the cloud ensures that all information is protected against system crashes. However, schools must back up all their data in case of technical errors. Even after a disaster, backups easily restore data and ensure no severe losses.

Customized Learning

Learners can choose their preferred material upon entering the cloud. For example, someone may choose to watch a prerecorded webinar while someone else might opt for the written summary of that same webinar. Therefore, learning becomes personalized and flexible. Also, learners interact with their teachers in a more immediate and personalized way. They can ask questions through messages and not wait to visit them during office hours.

Drawbacks Of This Technology In Education

Internet Connectivity

For cloud computing to succeed in education, internet connectivity must be reliable. Institutions whose connectivity is weak and disconnects regularly create issues with server performance and data management. The User Experience is also affected when students have unreliable WiFi connections. For instance, someone’s internet may go out during an online live exam. Their progress may not be saved, endangering the integrity of their examination. To avoid such annoyances, institutions should allow students to work offline when their connection is interrupted. They may save their progress on their computer and upload the file once their connection is restored.

Security Issues

Data breaches and cyberattacks may still happen, even when a trustworthy VPN is used. Before signing up for cloud computing software, read the fine print and ensure the security settings are strong. As an additional measure, you can set up a password for your cloud that only authorized people know. Also, two-factor authentication and encryption are great solutions to safeguarding your content. You may need to turn off the ability to save credentials on devices since if someone’s equipment is lost, anyone can access confidential files.

Dependency On Vendors

Vendor lock-in is a major issue for cloud computing in education. When an institution picks their vendor and signs a contract with them, they can’t switch to a different one for a certain amount of time. So, if they are dissatisfied with a vendor’s services or the latter significantly increases their fee, schools have to stick with them. They can choose to break their contract, but their vendor will probably charge them a hefty penalty.

Digital Literacy

Many students nowadays are very comfortable with technology since they were introduced to phones and computers early on. However, the case differs for many teachers whose familiarity with technological advancements may be more limited. Also, some learners’ digital literacy is basic since their parents may not be able to provide them with equipment. Therefore, institutions must ensure everyone feels comfortable utilizing cloud computing in education and provide help to those in need of assistance and practical experience.

Less Control And Support

Deciding to migrate their functions to the cloud means that institutions rely heavily on third-party providers to handle the infrastructure. They can’t control the learning environment, instructional materials, hosting, or the use and storage of data. Therefore, they have no control over the updates and maintenance applied to the system. This can upset teachers and students greatly since necessary functions may be unavailable until the upgrades are finished. Educators are also worried that the continuous use of technology will render learners dependent on it and limit their critical thinking skills and ability to work independently.

The Main Types Of Cloud Computing

There are five different types of cloud computing services institutions can opt for for educational purposes. The most common one is a public cloud. Anyone can join, and it is usually free of charge, while a third-party provider runs it. Storage space is limited, though, and users must pay extra to increase it. Private clouds are the exact opposite. Only one individual or company uses its storage space. On the other hand, hybrid clouds combine both private and public cloud services and increase safety and flexibility. However, if you don’t wish to pay for extra storage space, you may use multi-clouds, which is the combination of two or more public or private cloud services. This is especially useful for institutions with tight budgets. The last type is high-performance computing (HPC) clouds, which typically fit the needs of high-performing applications and supercomputers.


Transitioning to cloud computing is challenging for most institutions and their faculty. That’s why you should start small, adding only a few classes or departments to the experiment to see how they perform. It’s necessary to find a vendor that has extensive experience in the education sector and understands your needs. They will help you make a smooth transition. Don’t forget to be prepared in case things don’t go as planned and you have to either go back to your previous system or find another alternative.