- K-12 district and school IT teams and administrators must keep a number of factors in mind — including shifts in culture and a variety of processes — when making the switch to a cloud computing environment, according to EdTech: Focus on K-12.
- Among the factors to consider are cost savings unique to the district or school based on reductions in on-site infrastructure, as well as the comparison to potential WiFi cost increases resulting from more demand for bandwidth, and the benefits and downsides that vary by vendor.
- Licensing agreements are also a potential source of headaches when it comes to regulatory compliance and pre-existing licensing agreements on software already in use, as well as any new skills needed by the IT team or end users.
While the transition to a cloud environment can save districts money and simplify processes, there are plenty of complications to consider. Perhaps chief among them is ensuring that the cloud vendor is also in compliance with regulations like FERPA that govern student data privacy, as well as any cybersecurity, back-up and disposal processes they have. This can become more complicated in scenarios where districts only migrate select services and processes to the cloud.
Teacher skepticism has also presented a persistent challenge, but that can often be overcome through training and demonstrations of the technology's ability to streamline various classroom processes.
Of course, these challenges haven't stopped plenty of districts from making the jump: As of last August, data showed around 80% of districts are now using the cloud.