How Cloud Computing is Changing American Elementary Schools

The Student Privacy Pledge was introduced in 2014 to safeguard the information of K-12 students.

A press release announcing the creation of the pledge details the kind of protection it seeks to offer:

“The Pledge would apply to all student personal information whether or not it is part of an “educational record” as defined by federal law, and whether collected and controlled by the school but warehoused offsite by a service provider or collected directly through student use of a mobile app or website assigned by their teacher. It would apply to school service providers whether or not there is a formal contract with the school.”

Among a number of requirements are the stipulations that school service providers not sell student information, target students with ads or change privacy policies without notice.

But despite the relatively severe language in the policy, EFF launched a complaint earlier this month claiming that Google’s Apps for Education is collecting personal information on students, including their browsing history.

This kind of issue presents a huge challenge for the entire education cloud industry. For educational institutions, data security is a vital aspect of cloud infrastructure and applications, but the security challenges are a very real aspect when it comes to choosing a service provider.

Cloud still gaining popularity in American classrooms

But despite security concerns, the cloud computing market in the K-12 segment in the US expected to grow steadily over the next four years.

The biggest reason for adoption of cloud computing in classrooms in cost savings.

In a cloud model, the maintenance and operation cost, infrastructure cost, updates, and associated risks are handled by third-party service providers rather than the end-users (the schools themselves).

Cloud computing simplifies the creation and management of on-premises systems and related infrastructure, allowing education organizations to focus on teaching, rather than infrastructure investments.

It also helps schools meet constantly growing resource requirements. Students can connect their personal mobile devices to in-house services offered by the schools, and faculty members are provided with efficient access and flexibility while integrating technology in their classes.

And cloud isn’t just limited to the classroom. It also helps extend e-learning capabilities and allows education institutions to offer a wide range of different academic resources, applications, and tools to students worldwide.

These are all factors expected to drive the market value to $2.48 billion by 2020, growing at a cumulative average growth rate of 23.58% from 2015-2020.

Key advantages of cloud computing in the K-12 segment 

Source: Technavio, 2015