Why Are More Schools Exploring The Cloud?

Consider the contemporary education system of the UK. It is a system undergoing massive changes as sweeping modernisation forces our schools to keep up, or become irrelevant. 

Now consider the evolution of technology. Much the same, no? Technology must be useful, or it becomes irrelevant. It is consistently morphing field, constantly modernising as advances open the door to progress. 

Now, marry the two in a mutually beneficial relationship. Let technology embrace education, and the education flourish with technologies deft touch.
Beautiful, right? 

If you cannot visualise this warming embrace, we can help you. The future is often mooted as a single idea, a single device that will alter the way we operate. The Internet provided the initial burst for schools to become collaborative knowledge resources, and now mobile technology provides ample opportunity to extend learning into the home like never before.

But there is a reason more and more schools, teachers, students, and other stakeholders are slowly altering this perception. Whilst devices are very much the “now” of education, building a long-lasting, and student focused cloud solution will deliver the legacy both the teachers and learners deserve.

Let’s look at some of the major criteria for those schools making the switch.

Data Handling

A cloud operation will have many benefits, but data handling is certainly one of the biggest. What we mean here is that the classroom is already changing. Students are arriving at school with substantial technological knowledge of the Internet, networking, and devices, and are keen to continue their preferred mode of engagement into the learning sphere. As technology integrates further throughout the classroom more data and more connectivity is required. A cloud service encompasses the initial transition, but also allows for growth, unlike many traditional ICT structures.

The data generated needs robust safeguarding, as well as the continuity of a consistent backup program. As well as this, the cloud can promote data handling awareness with students of all ages, actively engaging children in an IT project built directly into their curriculum.
The cloud can also stimulate extra-curricular, independent learning by extending the classroom to the devices in our homes. Teachers can share documents, multimedia files, interactive resources, and much more through cloud operated networks. 

Overhead Reduction

Even before the May 2015 election, the Institute for Fiscal Studies was rapidly weighing up the spending pledges of our political parties. They estimated around 12% would be lost to cuts over the next parliament. Coming as part of a wider austerity push, schools have never been under more pressure to trim resources and find efficiencies.

IT infrastructure is important, and Atlantec appreciate the costs of installing any new system, which is why we can help you begin to maximise the productivity and efficiency of a school’s existing infrastructure ahead of a move to the cloud. 

If it is an entirely new cloud solution in a well-connected facility, Atlantec can work alongside the school from the word ‘go’ to build a comprehensive cloud solution. The reduction in upfront hardware costs alone is staggering, but when you begin to factor in the automation, the reduction in time-wasting administrative tasks, and overall potential for resource leveraging, the savings quickly climb.

Office 365 is free to schools meaning reduced ICT costs, enabling the excess to be funnelled back into the wider school environment.

Leveraged Resources

Leveraged resources refer to those cloud solutions allowing multiple users to take advantage of single, or hybrid combinations of cloud servers. These multi-tenant solutions can be spread across a school district, and due to the clouds outstanding economy of scale, the books are still balanced and everyone can harness the benefits. 

Other benefits of leveraged resources include:

  • Elimination of redundant practices, equipment, data practices, and more.
  • Streamlined organisation across several sites. ICT budgets no longer strained by decision making processes as cloud solution scales with need.
  • Do more with less: let your staff focus be education, teaching, planning, and fun, letting Atlantec take care of software maintenance, security, and other day-to-day functions.

Learning Opportunities

Schools that make the switch to the cloud can continue to make use of shared resources from any location. Delivering important documents to students at home, providing engaging self-learning experiences, and even building digital classrooms for group revision sessions become fundamentally easier. Approaching and delivering education through a digital medium will continue to gain support, but not every teacher, or student, will jump toward the idea straight away. 

This is why Atlantec value the importance of building the cloud solution directly into the infrastructure of the school, whilst working alongside the school to deliver the curriculum. The most important thing is delivering knowledge. But if the vision for the cloud, for its shared learning resources, for the elimination of redundant processes, and for the appreciation that technology is coming, if this vision doesn’t permeate the entire school, then the tangible benefits for each student will be lost.

The days of IT consistently failing are falling behind us. Superfast network connections and increased digital awareness preside over a generation of digitally native students. Atlantec continues to deliver clear operational benefits for students and staff, increasing engagement with subject matter simply by increasingly the chances a student has to interact with the course material. And when the ICT system works in a consistent manner, people are more likely to use it on a daily basis.

Finally, exposing students to cloud based services at a young age can only bring positives. The Digital Agenda, Europe 2020 has forecast an EU-wide skills gap of 15% by 2020, forcing the UK and EU to assess how we approach ICT curriculum. Encouraging students to pursue higher-skilled, higher-paid jobs through an implemented cloud infrastructure seems like a great win-win situation for everybody involved.