Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in August 2021 and has been revised to reflect industry updates.
No one will ever forget 2020, especially not the students and teachers who had to navigate education during the tumultuous year in pandemic lockdown. The spring and fall of that year were studies in uncertainty, with elected officials, school districts, parents, and students all dealing with the ramifications of “remote” learning while simultaneously hoping for a return to in-school instruction.
Cloud-based phone systems were there to power remote learning for any school district that required it. And these tools are highly beneficial even now with a return to in-person instruction. This also includes learning programs continuing with a hybrid environment, or fully remote programs.
CCi Voice offers an abundance of cloud-based tools to every type of learning institution. Let’s learn more about how this technology serves our schools!
Cloud-Based Technology & Schools
Cloud services aren’t new concepts in the education sector. In fact, a large percentage of institutions are already adopting a cloud-first strategy.
A pre-coronavirus survey showed 82 percent of education institutions host their email or productivity systems in the cloud, 52 percent leverage cloud-based learning management systems (LMS), and 39 percent store curriculum content in the cloud. The benefits cited most often were flexibility and efficiency, along with security, reliability, and cost savings.
However, the leveraging of cloud technology in education wasn’t put into high gear until coronavirus reared its ugly head. The pandemic-fueled transition to online learning had institutions from kindergarten through higher education rethinking cloud strategies. And during the first few months of the pandemic, cloud benefits such as scalability and affordability became critical to the education sector—and these extend beyond the post-COVID world.
For starters, moving infrastructure servic
es such as hardware, network, and servers from a closet-based data center to the cloud frees up computing resources by eliminating overhead. What’s more, a flexible cloud mode makes it easy for schools to scale, upgrade, and add resources. And when usage is low, schools can scale back. Meanwhile, costs are kept to a minimum because the institution only pays for the resources it uses.
Of course, cloud capabilities were well-known prior to COVID. But the swift shift to remote learning emphasized these services, pushing cloud to the forefront of both curriculum and budget planning. To meet an increased demand for remote access, education institutions need an agile, flexible, and scalable infrastructure only the cloud can enable.
Cloud-Based Technology Benefits for Schools
Cloud-based technology offers several advantages for schools and educational institutions. Here’s a rundown of key benefits:
1. Cost Savings
Pay-as-you-go models, coupled with competitive pricing strategies offered by providers such as CCi Voice, will help with cost and time efficiencies. This means schools only pay for the features they actually use! Not only does this remove the added expense of resources you don’t need nor want, it also lets you set that money aside for other operational line items.
2. Flexibility & Scalability
As learning institutions change and grow, and have seasonal downtimes, they can easily scale up or down based on current activities. Not only does this help schools adjust to a needs-based mode, it also facilitates remote and hybrid learning situations.
3. Increased Collaboration
Cloud-based technology can aid with improved communication among students, teachers, and staff. These tools can even foster productivity for students working on group projects from any learning environment through video conferencing. Teachers can also meet virtually to discuss lesson plans, ideas, and provide student progress feedback. We also offer a built-in conferencing platform bridge for unlimited participants and easy log-in, log-out capabilities.
4. Improved Data Security
With all data stored securely in the cloud, schools have a better chance of safeguarding important information from cyber threats and attacks. This includes malware, ransomware and other breaches. Should a disaster or system failure occur, cloud technology will ensure data recovery with little to no downtime.
5. Personalized Learning
A cloud-based phone system can enable personalized learning in a remote-learning environment by allowing teachers to communicate directly with students, creating a more interactive and engaging experience.
SaaS Applications Inspire Powerful Connections Between Students & Teachers
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications such as education delivery platforms, student portals, collaboration tools, and more were highly in-demand during the pandemic. These tools granted the flexibility to work from anywhere, with any device. It enabled users to share files and collaborate with ease, from any location. Teachers were empowered to control the flow of information to students, ensuring a safe learning environment while keeping parents informed at all times.
SaaS also doesn’t lock schools into costly enterprise or perpetual licenses. Instead, institutions pay as they go, with flexibility to add or remove users with the click of a button. There are also no maintenance or upgrades to fret over, as the cloud provider does it all.
Schools Can Thrive in the Cloud
Cloud-based technologies in educational institutions offer significant benefits, such as streamlined information-gathering, managing class assignments, collaboration, and guided learning. This also includes picking and choosing the features you want, at one competitive price!
As the pandemic has made clear, it's important to continually learn about new technologies to ensure our students stay at the head of the class. And the cloud doesn’t only address hard-to-fathom occurrences like a pandemic, as the technology can also mitigate the effects associated with losing in-person days due to weather, natural disasters, and other unforeseen events.
CCi Voice is ready to walk you through everything we offer for schools! View our pricing page to see how cost-effective we are, and all the features we include—at no extra charge—when compared to the competition!
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