ABSTRACTThis paper gives a descriptivesummary on the research and benefits of cloud computing towards education usinga systematic search method. Following a search on related literatures, 112papers were selected. IntroductionCloud computing is a distributedcomputing arrangement that gives right to obtain virtual resources such asnetworks, storage space, computer systems, applications or platforms thatimproves development (Mell & Grance, 2009). Resources such as requesting, configuringand mentioning are available to the user without much interaction with theprovider. The use of “the cloud” can be measured and users can be chargedper-use. The support of groups likeAmazon, Google or Microsoft has made cloud computing to be adopted in differentenvironments. Tools that provide cloud services such as Dropbox, or OneDrive areused daily by millions. Several industries are using cloud-based applicationssuch as Salesforce and small-scale and large businesses are embracing Infrastructureas a service model offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure(Marston, Li, Bandyopadhyay, Zhang, Ghalsasi, 2011).
In enhanced learning usingtechnology, the most popular taste is recognized as cloud-based services (Johnson,Adams, & Cummins, 2012) that provides access to online services anyplaceand gives scalability, improved availability and saves cost (McDonald, Breslin,& macDonald, 2010). In education, cloud computingprovides desirable attributes in e-learning duties, mostly in events wherethese duties fully depend on intensive computer duties (video streaming,simulations, virtual worlds etc.). Cloud services can be provided for teachersand laboratories according to their need for computing resources, For example,teachers can create virtual computers (also known as Virtual Machines) ondemand with installed software to distribute computing laboratories faster (Chine,2010) .
Different tertiary institutions use cloud computing in different wayssuch as to obtain email services, providing collaboration tools and storing ofdata for students and to host educational Virtual Learning Environments (Sclater,2010a). Background on cloud computingCloud computing services can bedivided into three types (Mell & Grance, 2009; Zhang, Cheng, & Boutaba,2010): platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS),Infrastructure as a service (IaaS). At the lowest level of abstraction,infrastructure as a service is found, where resources such as storage, networkingand processing are provided on demand to the consumer as an abstraction of avirtual machine. Examples of infrastructure as a service are Google ComputeEngine, where virtual machines are provided on demand, OpenStack, Amazon EC2,and Eucalyptus.
The next level, platform as aservice is mostly built on infrastructure as a service and permits users tomove on the cloud infrastructure applications developed using runtimeenvironments and programing permitted by the provider. Most IT staffs,developers and other workers get resources from the PaaS (Windows Azure andGoogle App Engine).Lastly, Software as a servicewhich is the best and most known out of the three types, providing ofapplications on the internet rather than running on the user’s system. Resourcesdiscovered at this stage range from web services to multimedia and are viewedthrough a web client (Zhang et al., 2010).
Review methodologyKitechenham and Charters (2007)guidelines for literature reviews were used to conduct the survey. This guidelineshas been used by various authors in similar cloud computing related subject.The search was conducted using various databases to find related and relevantworks such as Scopus, Library, Springer and ScienceDirect. SEARCH STRING USED “CLOUD” OR “VIRTUALIZATION” “EDUCATION” OR “LEARNING” “EDUCATION” OR “TEACHING” “CLOUD” + “LEARNING” “CLOUD” + “TEACHING” This search string were used toget high number of relevant studies from quality databases, other unrelatedworks came out as part of the result.
Relevant studies that were not discoveredafter the search are expected to be at the referenced bibliography of theresult, and all the relevant results not included in the results were involvedin the second analysis iteration. Papers considered were white papers, paperspublished in English and conference proceedings. From the initial searchstrings, 351 articles were discovered.Each article discovered wentthrough selection1.
Checkingof titles, any title not relating to cloud computing in education werediscarded.2. Interpretingabstract, any abstract not relating to cloud computing in education werediscarded.3. Readthrough the conclusion and introduction, discard if related to other works bythe authors.
4. Lowquality works should be discardedData abstractionwas used to collected information such as research questions posed, main andsummary reports, learning scenarios envisioned, applications described ,clouddeployment models used etc. from all the papers selected. 25 studies passed thesecond analysis iteration and went through data abstraction. Finally, for themain findings 112 results went through qualitative analysis according to theobjective of the paper; risks, benefits, challenges of cloud computing ineducation.