As everyday life continues to become increasingly tech-based, it is hard to imagine an area of society that hasn’t been completely permeated with the latest technology trends. For quite some time, however, academia lagged behind the rest of the world when it came to technology, relying on outdated processes and devices to teach today’s students. Recently, this trend has begun to change as students are increasingly interested in using their own devices in school and teachers are realizing the educational potential of modern technological advances.
Last year, students between the ages of 18 and 24 owned an average of seven devices each, according to research compiled by mobile accessories provider Mightyskins. The company found that 60 percent of students take advantage of the ability to conduct research on their mobile devices anytime and in any place. Another 33 percent use their devices to set alerts and reminders for tests or projects they have coming up in order to stay on top of their schoolwork. According to the research, today’s students are so comfortable using their devices that half do not see value in a physical classroom and 53 percent believe they could receive an equally beneficial education through online classes.
Because of this shift toward the use of digital methods, one of the most frequently adopted innovations in classrooms is cloud computing. With students commonly turning to their mobile devices for schoolwork, the cloud allows teachers to connect with their pupils outside the classroom and for students to easily collaborate with one another on projects and for tests. According to Mightyskins, 86 percent of students reported experiencing better collaboration with their teachers and peers through the use of mobile devices and 81 percent of teachers felt that students had a better learning experience when using a tablet.
Educational advantages found with cloud communication
One of the biggest benefits schools are able to experience when deploying cloud technology is increased communication. Students can more easily access their teachers outside of school hours through cloud communication methods like video and Web conferencing. Classmates are able to share notes on lessons with students who are out sick through unified communications tools such as real-time messaging and screen sharing.
The improved communication provided by the cloud isn’t just within members of a school community, either. Cloud-based communication tools also make it possible for classrooms to access resources they would not be able to otherwise, such as bringing in experts from around the world through voice-over-IP calls or Web conferencing sessions. Students can also take virtual field trips to any location imaginable through video calling.
As classrooms and schools continue to become more connected in the coming years, utilizing cloud communication will be a no-brainer. The technology allows students to have an enhanced learning experience and enables teachers to improve the effectiveness of their lessons in a convenient and affordable way. Adding communication tools to an existing cloud platform is quick and simple and can make a world of difference to an academic community, so many schools will likely begin to show interest in comprehensive service offerings including voice-over-IP solutions and unified communication suites. Service providers with the ability to offer schools as many of these educationally beneficial features as possible at one reasonable cost will likely have the most success tapping into this emerging market in the near future.