S3-COMP10-6 - The Value of Cloud-Based Learning Environments for Digital Education

2. Research-to-Practice Work In Progress
Patrick Wolfschwenger1 , Birgit Albaner2, Oliver Kastner-Hauler3, Barbara Sabitzer1
1 Johannes Kepler Universit├Ąt Linz
2 University of Carinthia
3 University of Lower

Work in progress. This work-in-progress paper deals with the adoption of cloud service concepts in educational institutions. Its aim is twofold: (1) It contemplates the contributions that cloud computing can make to the development and implementation of current digital education concepts. (2) It discusses technical, legal and economic aspects that education providers should consider, when making use of cloud services. Cloud services provide organizations with on-demand network access to a shared pool of computer system resources and are a means to alleviate the burdens imposed by local infrastructures. The utilization of cloud computing in educational institutions has experienced a considerable upswing in the last couple of years. The scope of application is as diverse as the cloud service concepts themselves. Extant literature is synthesized to guide decision-making and work practices of practitioners and to identify gaps in knowledge that a forthcoming empirical study will address. Cloud computing is a relatively young research area with many facets. Since the early 2000s, a strong focus has lain on the development of a reliable and powerful infrastructure, including networking, virtualization and resource utilization techniques. Nowadays, cloud computing is widely recognized as a technically mature technology. Its adoption has been increasingly discussed in various communities in recent years. In the education sector, significant success has already been achieved in conducting virtual learning laboratories and hosting organization-wide systems. The rising number of cloud adoptions has, in turn, encouraged research in several other contiguous fields. Jurists deal with legal issues related to the use of cloud computing in organizations. Economists focus on financial and managerial aspects. A steadily increasing overlap with the field of digital education has ensued from the rising importance of cloud computing in the education sector. The results of the work provide a starting point for further research revolving around the adoption of cloud service concepts in educational institutions. The paper gives an insight into the strengths and opportunities, but also the weaknesses and threats associated with the use of cloud services in educational institutions.