Home E-Learning Edge Computing And Education: It’s Not What You Expect

Edge Computing And Education: It’s Not What You Expect

This Bold New Tech Can Benefit Educational Groups

Amidst the vast technological advances of the past decade, edge computing ranks high as one of its crowning achievements. Nearly 75% of organizations expect to fully adopt edge computing by 2025. Broadly speaking, edge computing allows for enhanced data storage, processing, and analytics capabilities.

How Can This Smart New Tech Help The Education Sector?

When it comes to the education sector, edge computing can improve online classes, enhance efficiency, and lead to stronger student learning outcomes. In this article, we’ll dive into an overview of what edge is, why edge is useful in the education space, and how to recalibrate expectations around the future of digital technologies.

How Edge Works

In order to grasp the benefits and technicalities of edge, it’s worth briefly reviewing cloud computing. All modern educational organizations leverage cloud computing, which offers a variety of data storage and resource options that are accessible for nearly anyone, from anywhere.

Most importantly in this context, cloud data processing can take place anywhere in the world. For example, persons using cloud systems in Honolulu may have data processed in Doha [1]. To oversimplify, the cloud just works this way and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

But, when data processing takes place far away, organizations can encounter problems, or it’s just a non-optimal situation. With edge computing, all data processing occurs nearby; either on the device itself or in a location within a geographically local radius [2]. This has some major benefits for schools.

Benefits Of Edge In Schools

  1. Edge can help relieve overloaded networks. Instances of overloaded networks are likely to occur during school hours when many people are trying to use the internet simultaneously. Edge computing can help your organization contend with this challenge.
  2. In the past year, dozens of educational institutions have experienced cyber break-ins. In June, a pair of K12 schools closed after experiencing a ransomware attack [3]. Because edge computing data is stored locally, and not centrally, a single security disruption will not necessarily cause ripple effects across your entire system. In other words, edge comes with a layer of cyber protection.
  3. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are increasing in popularity, including among teachers and education support staff. We’ve seen teachers use IoT to create “smart lesson plans,” administrators using IoT to record attendance, and more. IoT technologies often allow educators and education management teams to dedicate more of their time to higher-level job functions. When using edge computing infrastructure to process IoT device data, information processing occurs more expediently than it would otherwise, allowing for maximum productivity and efficiency.
  4. Interested in using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality within the world of education? Edge computing allows students and teachers to quickly and seamlessly interact in virtual classrooms. When Virtual Reality communications are choppy, it can interfere with learning. Edge computing improves virtual experiences and learning outcomes.
  5. In the long run, edge can help save on costs. According to IBM, edge computing provides a less expensive option for organizations that wish to expand computing capacity [4]. It’s expensive to send data to the cloud. Sending data to the edge is potentially far less expensive. That said, investing in edge all at once could be a significant budgetary event.
  6. Educational institutions with research facilities, think tanks, and other entities on campus can benefit from the uniquely efficient and reliable aspect of edge computing services. And as 5G becomes more prevalent across campuses, edge reliance and utility are expected to grow.

Edge Vs. Cloud

Cloud computing can function as the best option for certain applications in the education sector, while edge computing can serve as the best option in other instances. That said, edge is generally perceived as delivering an enhanced User Experience, making activities and processes faster, less discombobulated, more cost-effective, more accessible, and more adaptable. Standardizing the technology across a school district can require a heavy monetary investment. However, once the architecture exists, and the information security team has taken steps to protect it, your teachers, students, and parents can cash in on some seriously good benefits.

Summary

Will edge become the next major force multiplier in the education sector? Some say so and recommend moving classrooms to the edge. This computing model can improve expediency, experience, and learning in contemporary classroom settings and can offer unprecedented opportunities as edge-adjacent technologies continue to develop and deploy.

References:

[1] Achieving comprehensive cloud workload security 2022

[2] At the edge: What is edge computing?

[3] Ransomware attacks on schools, shutting down online learning

[4] What is edge computing and how can it transform your business?

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