Cloud computing technology offers an innovative alternative to traditional schooling, creating opportunities for personal learning, interactive lessons, and group instruction. In addition, the cloud provides students with the tools to interact and work together with an unusually wide range of peers, regardless of their location. Through cloud computing, a real revolution in education is happening in China. Students do not necessarily need a teacher standing at the blackboard. Study it is possible everywhere, indoors, in the open, under a tree, on board a ship or aircraft.
There are many examples in the Chinese education system of the effectiveness of cloud computing (although the majority of teachers and students avoid the term). Cloud computing is changing the way personal, interactive and collective learning is taking place in primary and secondary Chinese school. New technology makes it possible to manage better, and disseminate knowledge, and it allows pupils and students to interact and work together with a continuously expanding range of peers, regardless of their location. The tremendous power of the cloud is exhibited in the educational system of China through online content and public resource editing, most of which are available free of charge.
Cisco Networking Academy provides free training and examination materials to several parts of the world including China as a non-profit program. This program delivers educational materials to far-flung areas of China is the most economical and reliable way. In addition, the cloud opens the door to the world of education for those who cannot learn in the traditional way: the elderly, disabled, students with learning disabilities, etc. Today, in China cloud computing is already used by tens of thousands of students.
Even though, cloud computing presents huge potential for learning, in a country like China implementation of this technology for modernization of education poses a number of problems, as well. The lack of adequate IT support in school districts is one such issue. In the majority of the district in Chine, a single employee in the technical department often has to manage up to 900 devices, and there is a shortage of trained IT professionals. Thus, there is are limitations of educational departments to implement a strategic approach to cloud computing. The cloud can save the cost of IT support, but in many schools, it cannot be used with current infrastructure and human resource.
Another problem is providing devices for every student to gain access to digital resources, as well as, training of all teachers for most effective use of Web 2.0 features. Districts schools must develop a methodology for the use of these functions in order to develop education in the 21st century. Despite the fact that more and more school districts use cloud technology, the most serious problem is associated with broadband access at an affordable price. Such access is possible only where private operators are allowed to participate in building infrastructure along with government agencies.
It is expected that in coming years the above-mentioned issues will be successfully addressed through the evolution of education systems in the cloud, and the emergence of new distance learning methods. Experts are convinced that cloud computing will bring tangible benefits for school districts, already seeking to develop a digital training program using all available digital resources. Given the rapid spread of new devices (like tablets) and new trends (from turning education into a public service to the distribution network games and computer control with gestures), one can say that the cloud has opened up unprecedented opportunities for students and for teachers.