How cloud computing’s helping educational institutions cope in a COVID-19 world

March 23 2020, by Phillip Wallace | Category: Cloud Services

Remote learning, cloud computing

It’s changed daily life in ways never seen before, and the COVID-19 crisis is still gaining pace. Businesses, governments and individuals are trying to figure what should be done, when, and how.

The virus is also having a major impact on our education sector. Schools and tertiary institutions, although not yet closed, are having to support students who can’t attend in person and must study from home.

However, there’s a fundamental problem. The IT infrastructures that support teaching activities were never designed to deliver remote access at scale. It’s one thing for students to use digital library resources or email services remotely, but two-way, proactive teaching is something very different.

On-campus infrastructure.

Traditional, on-campus IT infrastructures pose another challenge as they typically require on-site support staff. If those staff are required to work from home when the facility is closed, this management becomes difficult, if not impossible.

For effective remote lecturing and student interaction, supporting infrastructure needs to be able to rapidly scale to meet demand. Yet achieving this scale quickly is tough when everything’s based on campus. New hardware needs to be installed and internet bandwidth boosted. Waiting for this to happen will result in frustrating delays for staff and students.

Embracing the cloud.

Just as it’s changed the game for businesses, cloud computing is now poised to revolutionise the way education is delivered. Rather than investing in extra on-campus capabilities, institutions can ‘rent’ needed capacity from a cloud provider.

Embracing the cloud means required new capacity can be rapidly made available. Teaching resources can be quickly migrated to the platform where extra server capacity will ensure performance is maintained, even when things are under increasing load due to a high number of concurrent users.

It’s the future of remote teaching.

COVID-19 might be the driver for current demand, yet the remote learning trend will extend well beyond this challenge. Having the ability to teach students regardless of their location will help institutions to become much more flexible in the way curriculums are designed and delivered in years to come.

Find out more about how Macquarie Cloud Services can help you address these challenges.