The ‘Cloud School’ Concept is directing Education to New Light of Hope

A new dawn heralds a new day. Today, a new beginning is defined by technological endowments that bring flavours of changes for a brand new world. So, you find the same picture in education sector. Supported by technology, the education system has come a long way from traditional methods to internet based learning in a virtual environment. A radical new scheme ‘cloud schools’ is changing the concept of disseminating education by holding lessons without teachers. For the first time, the concept has been introduced across two schools in Britain. Let’s have a look.

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Web Technology- The Learning Revolution

The cloud based learning platform is encouraging learners and teachers embrace web technologies for imbibing knowledge. In Britain, there are two such schools which use internet links for catering education to students directly from teachers. ‘Cloud schools’ are set inside already existing schools across North East of England. The ultimate idea is to enable students learn all by themselves.

The idea later inspired the story behind the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.’

Here is How

The male protagonist as played by Dev Patel, as Jamal Malik was shown working in a call centre company where he used to distribute tea to employees. He started to learn and gain profound experience from small incidents in life, which helped him later to participate in ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ where he won the jackpot. When he was caught by police on suspicion, he narrated the truth how his real life story like growing up in slum, adventures on roads, encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, whom he fell in love with and eventually lost helped in answering questions on show.

His experiences were key to the answers to questions as asked on show. Thus, this very concept of self learning, which Jamal had experienced in his entire life is very much instilled in ‘cloud schools’ learning concept. No doubt, Mitra’s  idea on self learning as is embedded through essence of ‘cloud schools’ is inspired this small, yet significant concept in ‘Slumdog Millionaire, which went on to win at the Oscars.

An Odd Experiment that had turned successful 

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Sugata Mitra, professor of educational technology with the Newcastle University had started an experiment called ‘Hole in the Wall’ few years back in Delhi slums. One day, he came back home after passing by the Delhi slum in 1999. It struck his intellect and he immediately returned back to the slum only to fit a PC by engraving a hole in the wall. Mitra simply powered it up by connecting it to the internet. When he came back eight hours later feeling that the computer must have been broken into pieces, was astonished to find that children were browsing the internet. Mitra again came back after two months and he found children playing games, and also browsing the internet.

“I left it to the wolves, knowing that it would be smashed, opened up and and sold,” Mitra says. “I left it, just to see what would happen.”

“I had stumbled on something that was universal, it had to be,” Mitra says.

Later, Mitra went on to recruit a group of retired teachers in England, whom he dubbed the ‘granny cloud’.  Here, interested candidates connect to Mitra’s school through skype and others. This entire concept of cloud school is part of an initiative as undertaken by professor Sugata Mitra. These classrooms are designed intentionally to enable students study easily and interact with people around the world. The plan is to help students secure Skype connections so as to communicate with cloud of retired professionals to share knowledge with experts.

The COL Campus

Talking of ‘cloud schools’, COL campus is now the talk of town. It is a cloud based learning platform. Founder of COL campus, Shaun Swartz had interviewed to News24 that cloud based learning methods have improved learning processes in schools by enabling learners to be able to control reviewing and learning materials on demand.

Learners and teachers use COL campus to share videos and links, post classroom materials, and access school notices and homework. Swartz also added a brighter side that there are about 60 colleges, schools, corporate companies, universities, across the country making use of online learning platform. Besides, the COL campus offers 350 courses and also above a thousand registered learners.

The Advantages of COL Campus

Students can access COL campus from cellphones, smartphones and desktop computers. The COL campus based on ‘cloud school’ training enables students of ages and grades to be part of this learning method. It has been surveyed and found that teachers are using cloud based training so as to ensure formative training of students. Swartz believes that parents are also starting to feel positive impact and are also using the system most proactively. Needless to say, the demand of cloud schools is approaching towards a totally new concept of learning.

Classrooms in clouds are indeed a very new concept with teachers and students connected on the same radar without feeling the physical presence of each other at all. Mitra also envisions that the cloud schools will eventually function as supplements to everyday education to students of all ages.

Therefore, he concludes that education will now be available anywhere and at any time wherever one can have access to the internet. In a way, learning is now flexible and accessible without feeling any barrier at all.

Source:  1, 2


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