- EdWeek Market Brief data shows 80% of districts using cloud-based software, according to responses from school tech administrators, EdTech: Focus on K-12 reports.
- The primary benefits are reportedly in efficiency and finances, with districts taking advantage of productivity tools like G-Suite and Office 365 as well as management tools that make it easier to ensure secure user experiences district-wide.
- Other benefits cited for cloud-based tools include the ease of collaboration and assignment distribution, as well as the ability to provide real-time feedback and host live discussions beyond the walls of the classroom.
While the numbers for cloud usage in schools are staggering, it's worth considering that resource availability and teacher skepticism about new technologies have remained challenges to adoption as recently as last year, as detailed by The Brookings Institution. The latter is perhaps the easiest to overcome via training and demonstrations of how the technology can streamline a variety of classroom processes, but schools and districts can also seek partnerships to alleviate resource scarcity.
Another potential hurdle schools may have to overcome is concern from teachers and parents about the perceived safety of information stored in the cloud — especially in the wake of high-profile leaks targeting various websites, celebrities and other entities in recent years. When working with cloud providers, school administrators should have a frank discussion about security concerns, who's responsible for what, and protocols for how data is used and, eventually, erased. No matter the reason behind a potential breach, families will ultimately likely hold school officials responsible for any data compromised.