INTRODUCTION

There is a consistent rise in competition owing to
the technology’s rapid escalation. The dominant influence of IT services has
been endured by all the sectors of an organization. For instance the HR
department functions by frequently employing SAAS model of Cloud Computing (Salesforce
Marketing, 2009)
( which is explained later in the research paper ). Similarly, the educational
sector is experiencing an imperative incorporation of the services to provide an
edge in learning capabilities. Quality education at minimal cost has always
been the intent notion of all the educators worldwide. Moreover, the developing
countries focus on achieving valuable knowledge as its indirect repercussion is
on the country’s economic condition. There is always an indefinite concern
regarding the correct parameter of education which surrounds the overall
education system. Institutions keep altering its assessment patterns in order
to derive the optimal outcome, in reference to the learners. (Ginsburg,
2010)

In order to adhere with the ongoing quest, a
suitable platform must be administered to execute accumulation and impartment
of data. Information Technology facilitates in optimal utilization of scarce
resources at minimal cost within a limited period of time. Accordingly, cloud
aims to offer innumerable services to its client in educational sector. It
complies with the requisite of current generation alongwith the future one.

Information Technology has offered distinct
computing effectiveness over different time period. It has evolved gradually
and has furnished five different stages of services in continuation. (Veillard,
2016)

·        
Mainframe: It is one of the initial computers
that was introduced. Large in size, high processing power and security
reliability are few characteristics of mainframe computer.

·        
Personal Computer: These system
transformed the working capability of general people. Personal desktops owned
by common man plus commercial viability involved, helped in popularity of PC

·        
Client server system: It is a
centralized form of networking. A powerful computer having large processing
power (server ) connects clients and provide them with the necessary services and
efficiencies

·        
Computing Era : This era became a
spectator of tools and services provided through networking. Storage of files
and data in discs, building an appropriate working infrastructure was molded
into accessing data over web from shared allocation of resources. The increased
bandwidth of the Internet gave rise to computing services, Mobile computing and
Cloud computing became the leading indicators.

 

WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING?

IT services extends to simple and complex
environment pertaining to the needs and conditions prevailing in the crucial
area. Similarly, cloud computing caters to its users as and when on demand.
This service is user oriented; it works on the basis of consumers’ needs and
convenience.

There is no standard definition which can integrate the
entire effective services offered by cloud computing. In simple terms, it is
utilizing the web services in such manner where minimal efforts are undertaken
to execute an operation. Availing elastic services from a third party (vendor),
paying on the basis of usage and acquiring appropriate workable arrangement
while performing any given task. (Technopedia) It can also be
summarized as an advance and contemporary approach of storing and retrieving
data on the web. The specifics which is scattered around the globe and which is
vital in deriving a ubiquitous formula can be employed via the internet, making
cloud gather information on a remote database. Internet is that essence on
which cloud computing operates. (Sultan, 2010)

Cloud computing also makes economies of scale
possible by accumulating the data already present on the cloud. The charge
whatever is obligatory will be met by the consumer to gain access to innumerable
details. There is an enhancement of productivity due to its cost effective,
adjustable and efficient nature. It integrates the servers, networks,
technology and mobility in itself.

The capital investment in obtaining the
infrastructure to make software operate is so high that it makes it impossible
for a common man to implement it. Furthermore, developing software which is
functional and provides proper user interface is arduous. There is an upsurge
demand for Chief Information Officers(CIO) in IT organizations as their skills
have expanded in comparison to the earlier job profile. Their objectives are
now addressing common concerns at large. (Almajalid, 2017)

Decrease in Enterprise Costs and enhancement of
technical infrastructure are guaranteed as two of the best requisites in front
of Chief Information Officers. (Lowendahl, 2016).As per the cloud
service providers cost reduction and an adaptable framework which is versatile
in its approach shall be adopted for improvement of such issues (Alshuwair,
Alshwaier, & Areshey, 2012) (Olanrewaju,
Khan, Mueen, & Anwar, 2017)

 

CLOUD SERVICE DELIVERY MODELS

Cloud offers three different services based on these
three delivery models (Salesforce Marketing, 2009)

SAAS : When the user does not want to install the
software on the PC or laptop, he perhaps, can exercise the option of using Software
as a Service. The location of the actual software is somewhere external and
 is managed by someone who can also be
the vendor. The user may transact with the vendor and acquire the services by
paying on consumption basis or by subscribing to it. It is accessed through the
web services via the internet.

PAAS : As the name suggests it is a Platform as a
Service. It provides an environment, a platform where the user may develop
a software or application so that it can be accessed via the Internet. The
tools for development and the infrastructure are provided by a third party who
is actually providing the platform to operate on. The user will be required to
pay as per the consumption ( Pay per use ). The charge can be variable as per
the terms of the provider. (Rouse)

IAAS : Infrastructure as a service is
obtained when a cloud service provider offers an architecture and computing
infrastructure along with resources to multiple clients. The virtualization,
networking, servers may be provided by the vendor; however the applications and
data are handled by the user himself. It is an on demand service. It is
flexible and works in accordance with users’ requirements

In addition to above, the arrangement of cloud can
be in following manner : (i) Public – 
where infrastructure of the I.T. services are external to the
enterprise. The services are offered by third party .(ii)Private – The
administration and the association are in the same organization. It may or may
not be hosted by a third party vendor but the network is always private. and
(iii) Hybrid- Combines the essence of both public and private cloud.9 (Olanrewaju,
Khan, Mueen, & Anwar, 2017)

EDUCATION AND CLOUD COMPUTING

The pedagogies are adopting student centered
approach, which includes working with active learning methods. Traditional
patterns are getting lesser attention, due to the declining developmental
outcome of the learners. Such limitations have given rise to the deployment of
cloud services in educational sector. It is bridging the gap between knowledge
and information. Educational institutes are keeping pace with the rapid
information boost and technological development.

Already, the cloud in education is a huge market
worth $5 billion; it is expected to cross $12 billion in 2019, according to a
report, Cloud Computing in
Education Market – Worldwide Market Forecasts and Analysis (2014-2019) by
MarketsandMarkets. (Markets and
Markets, 2016)
 (Sharma, 2017)

BEFORE CLOUD :

Teaching without the application of cloud services
has prevailed since a long time. Teachers impart whatever knowledge they
possess and thus, the comprehend capacity of learners are limited to whatever
information they procure. The teacher centered approach limits the development
of the students as they are unable to think out of the box. Few disadvantages
faced while employing traditional methods were:

·        
Lack of students’ focus

·        
Lack of critical evaluation

·        
Lack of general view

·        
Passive integration

·        
Less interaction

·        
One way communication

 

According
to Roger Murphy from Visual Learning Lab, University of Nottingham (Scaife,
Rogers, Aldrich, & Daveis, 2012), “Extensive
research shows that visual imagery can play a powerful role in accelerating
learning. Complicated concepts and processes can often be conveyed much more
simply in a visual format, and evidence suggests that use of visual media can
enhance problem-solving, motivation, understanding and the expression of
ideas.” (Vyas, 2013)

AFTER
CLOUD :

 

E
– learning, employment of web services, retrieving data from shared pool of
resources – all this became possible with the assistance of cloud in education.
Traditionally obtaining the knowledge was a one way process and in order to
acquire access to large quantities material, a complex IT infrastructure was
required. Universities and schools had to maintain traditional library with
cumbersome duties of doing away with limited resources. Cloud gave birth to
effortless access and easy maintenance by discharging on demand services to vast
material.

 

There
are few institutes in UK and US which have recognized cloud computing as an
efficient way of learning. Microsoft Live @ Edu which is provided by Microsoft
is suitable for Word Processing and has been adopted by Institutes. It provides
E- mail and sky drive services to learners. Microsoft office is also a
convenient way to provide access to students to view, edit and save their
documents in any PC (Naik, Ajay, & Kolhatkar, 2013) (Olanrewaju,
Khan, Mueen, & Anwar, 2017). Another service
offered by Cloud regarding the education is GAE i.e. Google App Education.
Google Docs, mail offer students an experience of learning with joint efforts.
Consultation services, other than cloud services that is being offered in the
Educational sector is being done by IBM Cloud Academy. (Tashkendi
& Jabeil, 2015) (Sultan, 2010) (IBM)

 

The
Cloud Computing Suppliers are making global platform  ( for instance IBM Academy ) for teachers,
students and other members of educational institute to communicate their views.
As indicated by IBM, “Cloud computing makes it possible for educators and
learners to get access to a range of research tools and applications and a
large collection of learning material (Olanrewaju, Khan, Mueen, & Anwar, 2017) (Chibaro,
2015)

 

 The usage of Web 2.0 to facilitate learning through
the internet and cloud is now being preferred. Even E learning or distance
learning which is accessible by virtue of network externalities will be
included in cloud computing pedagogy. Students are increasingly availing
benefit by utilizing the information on virtual portals as and when required.
Even the contributions in this research paper are possible due to the
attainable data from the web accessible via the internet.

 

While
over viewing cloud services in higher education, it is observed that students
utilize these services differently in various assignments. The usage by the
student is not mutually exclusive, i.e. a single student may employ two
services simultaneously.

Figure
1 : Adoption of Cloud Computing in Higher Learning Institutions: A Systematic
Review (Rashidah F, Burhan K, 2017, p 9) (Olanrewaju, Khan, Mueen, &
Anwar, 2017)

 

BENEFITS
OF ADOPTING CLOUD COMPUTATON IN EDUCATIONAL SECTOR

 

When
employed in Educational Sector, cloud proves to be the ultimate requisite for
quality and quantity based education. Its advantages prove the contentions
regarding its acceptance and execution. (Sharma, 2017)

·        
Variety of services offered : In an
educational institute where computing is done on the basis of cloud, the
assistance regulates in many directions. E learning solutions and distance learning
methods are made feasible due to the SAAS model of cloud, the charge of which
is derived through subscription or consumption basis.

·        
Educators’ discretion : By utilizing the
PAAS model of cloud, the educator may personalize the application offered to
the user(student) by employing tools and techniques.

·        
Data Capacity : Since the data is
accessed on web portals, the issues regarding the storage and maintenance are
eradicated. Learners procure the data from a depository accessible via the
Internet.

·        
Cost and Time management. The educators
can use external services offered by the third party. IAAS model’s relevance
can be comprehended in Cost and time management, by virtue of cloud usage.

CLOUD COMPUTING SERVICE PROVIDERS IN EDUCATION :

Few companies that offer educational service on
cloud will help in improved deciphering of the endaevour. (Lakshminarayanan,
Kumar, & Raju, 2013)

1.       The
G Suite for Education : It is a productivity tool which enables the learners
and the teachers to share views, communicate and interact. A core service that
offers educational facilities to its users. The tools are Gmail, Google Docs
and other offering by Google.

2.       Microsoft
Live @ Edu : It is designed to fulfill the educational needs of the institutes
and faculty members. Educational institutes use these services on computers,
mobiles, laptops etc. The tools are Microsoft Sky Drive, Microsoft Outlook, Office
Live workspaces Etc.

3.       Amazon
Web Services for Education : It delivers various services ranging from storage
and computing to analytics and application. It works in accordance with the
requirement of students in a learning institute. (Amazon)

 

FUTURE PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES:

The market of Cloud is only expected to rise in the
near future. The pace at which the technology is leading, the whole of the
educational system will operate by making IT as its base. There is a growing
demand of online courses (MOOCS)which provide skills
and educations by simply logging and getting enrolled. Satellite classes are
being broadcasted in several professional courses. The cost of participating in
physical discourse of education is eliminated, thereby augmenting the interest
of the learners’ and students in an area. Distribution of knowledge by
utilizing Drop box and other facilities aids in vast reach of the required
instruments.

On the other hand, challenges faced in functioning
of Cloud are in following manner :

Security issues : The data available on web services
is subjected to security concerns. The application is vast and managed by
people mainly over the internet. Thus, if the accessing of data is not implied
through proper protocol, the information may get altered and misused.

Unaware users : The work procedure usually compels
user to handover the intricate matters to the third party. The user becomes
unfamiliar regarding the depth of the performance and hence is unable to act
appropriately while facing issues. 

CONCLUSION:

The direction in which the Educational sector is
moving forward is appropriate for betterment of individuals and society at
large. Change is inevitable and if the change is good there must not be any
reason to evade it. A country like India which is an amalgamation of
diversified principles is indeed the finest client of Cloud computing. With
time, the efficacy offered will be acknowledged exclusively by innumerable
users, so as to employ computing in routine practice. The benefits and
challenges are duly acknowledged in this paper whereby giving an outline of the
present scenario and adoption of cloud..

 

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