Textbooks or the Cloud?

Textbooks or the Cloud?

A heavy book!

What would you rather carry on your back — textbooks or lighter than air apps and data?

When I went to school (six miles each way in the snow and rain, LOL), every year the books got heavier. Now, students can look forward to easy trips home with courses online — brought to them by the cloud. I recently read a commentary that said textbooks met the needs of 19th and 2oth century students, but that they fall short of the needs of today’s interactive students. “They are old-school delivery that supports old-school pedagogy,” the author stated. ” (OK, I must admit, I had to go to Wikipedia to find out what “pedagogy” means.)

Instead, cloud computing is much more appropriate for both students and faculty and staff.  The more schools that adopt the cloud, the more they can replace books — which by the way, have a tendency to get rather stale and outdated fast and cost a lot to replace — with cloud-based content delivery.

We at Monitis have been working with more more schools to help them ensure reliability of content-as-a-service.  But they are going beyond course content. The cloud is settling into ivy-covered walls with such resources as word processors, spreadsheets, databases, data visualization and analysis applications, teacher and administrator tools, and voice/video communications.  Often, much of that is provided online by the likes of Google and Amazon and Rackspace, and that’s why we are seeing big demand from schools for cloud platform monitoring, too.

When I think of all the schools I’ve worked with that are trimming IT budgets and making way for future scalability, boosting services to students, ensuring updated and current course content and making administration more efficient, I am impressed by their faith in the cloud movement. Faith is one thing, but I think that they are also good business moves, and the drivers within institutions–whether they be educators, IT folks or students themselves — are far-sighted and good decision makers.

Everybody wants to improve education and our educational system, but sometimes it takes a little thinking out of the box to make forward strides.