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Cloud Application in Education:

Bangladesh Perspective

Faisal Bin Abul Kasem, Abdullah Al-Imam, Shakib-Uz-Zaman Khan, Md. Sakib Khan
Department of Computer science and Engineering
Daffodil International University
Dhaka, Bangladesh.
{faisalpasha}{abdullah3098}{shakib3104}{sakibnsk} @ diu.edu.bd

Abstract— Cloud Computing is an emerging technology. It Resource pooling: The provider’s computing resources are
plays a major role in today’s technology sector. People are using pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant
it every day through one way or another. Education sector is not model, with different physical and virtual resources
out of this phenomenon. In this paper it is discussed that how dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer
Bangladesh will be benefited by applying Cloud in Education,
it’s challenges, case study and success story.
demand.
Rapid elasticity: Capabilities can be elastically
Keywords— Cloud, Cloud in Education, Bangladesh, Cloud provisioned and released.
in Bangladesh. Measured service: Cloud systems automatically control
and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability
I. INTRODUCTION at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service.
This paper focuses on application of cloud in education so
The world is changing rapidly. Day by day people are technical sides are not discussed here.
engaging more and more in ICT. Education is not out of this Many companies such as “Microsoft”, “Google”,
phenomenon. Most of the educational institutes’ students now “Amazon.com” and “Wolframalpha.com” are now serving
rely on web based educational system. From lectures to cloud technology to educational institutions and students.
assignment submission, everything is now online based.
There comes the necessity of cloud.
Cloud computing is a buzzing word now-a-days in ICT
industry. It means delivery of computing resources over the II. LITERATURE REVIEW
internet. In one word, cloud computing is nothing but a bunch
Lots of research has been done about advantages, challenges
of highly scalable computers working together somewhere
and applications of cloud computing. Banerjee provided
and giving service to an end user over the internet. It can also
overview of researches performed at HP Labs in the article
be visualized as doing one’s computing work using hardware
“An Intelligent IT Infrastructure for the Future”. [4] Delic and
resources from another place. The word “Cloud computing”
Riley assess the current state of enterprise knowledge
was first used by Compaq in 1996 and popularization was
management, describe architectural views of cloud and
done by Amazon.com when they had introduced Elastic
discuss briefly the underlying technologies.[5] The most
Compute Cloud. [1]
concerned area of cloud was its security. Dr. Ragib hasan has
A service provider is necessary in cloud computing. The
done a research on it and won the NSF CAREER Award. [6]
providers serve in different ways. Software-as-a-Service is
Others are also working on this. At present time it’s not a big
used for CRM, Email, Virtual Desktop, Communication,
concern anymore. Users can set their privacy demands with
games etc. Platform-as-a-Service is used for database, web
service providers. Recent researches prove that educational
server, development tools etc. Infrastructure-as-a-Service is
institutes and students can be benefited a lot from cloud
used for Virtual machines, Servers, storage, load balancers,
computing. Tuncay Ercan reviewed what the cloud
network etc.[2] These are service models. Deployment models
infrastructure will provide to education sector and how the
are of four types. Private, Public, Community and Hybrid.
teacher and students can be benefited more.[7] While Anjali
The NIST [3] defines characteristics of cloud as follows,
Jain and U.S Pandey discussed about the role of cloud
On-demand self-service: A consumer can unilaterally
computing in higher education.[8] Microsoft provided an
provision computing capabilities.
overview about the cloud services that can be used in
Broad network access: Capabilities are available
education, pointed out the benefits, briefly described security
over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms
issues, tips about planning and the services they are
that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client
providing under Microsoft Live@edu.[9] UNESCO IITE
platforms.
discussed in their policy paper about cloud. How cloud is
being applied in education, benefits, risk, guideline and technology in the learning session will help a student to be
future scenario were described. [10] Google first deployed App fully ready for the future world. Thomas J. Bittman of Gartner
for Education in October 2006 to Arizona State University.[11] Research pointed out three advantages of cloud[14].
a) Low-Cost and Free Technology: There has been a huge
III. APPLICATION IN EDUCATION growth in low-cost and free technology for social interaction,
publishing, collaborating, editing, content creation,
The cloud industry is emerging day by day. People are computing, etc.
leaning to it for its on demand policy. A user can have storage
or computational power as much as he need at instant without b) Content Growth: The amount of content (art, expression,
worrying about hardware. According to techisle.com opinions, true and false information of all forms) is growing
forecast[12] cloud market was $23.5 billion in 2012 and will at an exponential rate, available to a broad audience, and
reach $47 billion in 2016. Figure 1 shows the regional share. anyone can contribute.
c) Collaboration: Technology is rapidly improving the ability
to communicate and collaborate with others.
Diane Weaver mentions six advantages of cloud in education
in pearsonschoolsystems.com (used here with few alterations)
[15]

a) Back Up: An important function of the Cloud is that


it automatically saves content, making it impossible to lose
or delete any valuable material. This means that even if a
user’s computer crashes, all documents and content will
remain safe, saved, and accessible in the cloud.
b) Storage: The Cloud allows its users to store almost
all types of content and data including music, documents,
eBooks, applications, photos, and much more.
Figure 1: Regional share in Cloud Computing c) Accessibility: Any data stored in the Cloud can
easily be accessed from almost any device including mobile
devices such as smartphones or tablets.
A usage survey of cloud (2011) in different sectors of
USA shows that 34% of cloud usage in higher education d) Collaboration: Because the Cloud allows multiple
sector[13]. Needless to say that the percentage in 2014 is users to work on and edit a document at the same time, it
definitely more due to technological and security enables effortless sharing and transmission of ideas. With
advancement. Figure 2 represents the survey report. this feature, group projects and or collaborative lesson plans
can be optimized for both teachers and students.
e) Resource and Time Conscious: With the availability
of content online, it is no longer necessary for teachers to
spend time for resources printing or copying lengthy
documents or lesson plans. Now, students are able to access
homework, assignments, lesson notes, and other materials
online.
f) Assignments: I love that the Cloud allows teachers
Figure 2: Usage survey of cloud (2011) in different sectors of USA to post assignments online. Students are able to access these
assignments, complete them, and save them in a folder to be
Future success of a country relies on the education given to reviewed later. This means no wasting time turning in papers
the students of that country. There is a large scope in at the beginning of class.
Bangladesh to apply the cloud in education sector. Half of the
Bangladeshi people have mobile phones. Needless to say that These advantages also apply in Bangladesh perspective.
a significant percent of students also have mobile phones by Education rate in Bangladesh is increasing rapidly.
which they can access cloud services. Cloud in education has Classrooms are being crowded day by day. Teachers cannot
many advantages. Most educational institutes are not take care for the students individually. If cloud system is used
financially strong. Cloud is a helpful choice for them for in Universities and Schools then students can be benefited a
reducing IT infrastructure cost. A great advantage of cloud is lot and the teachers can give attention to the content quality
that the end user doesn’t need any specific knowledge about they are uploading to cloud. The quality contents will help
app installation in the cloud or the hardware. All these things students to learn.
are maintained by the service provider so the institute doesn’t
need any IT person to teach the stuffs about using apps. The Consider another scenario, most of the higher education
future world will be a technology based world so applying the students are financially weak. If an Engineering student or a
Chemistry student wants to do computing works related to his Google introduced various cloud apps for institutions.
subject he will need a computer capable of large scale Daffodil International University, Dhaka uses Google apps
computing which is very costly. But if there is a cloud server for education. One of the apps is Google Classroom. It is
which facilitates engineering apps or chemistry apps then the very beneficial for students. Recently DIU introduced
student can do his work with his cheap computer because the Google classroom to its students. A survey has done by the
computation is done on the cloud server not his computer. A authors of this paper among the teachers and students of DIU
good example is wolframalpha.com. It’s a large and it indicates that all of them are happy with Google
computational engine. Building a computational engine like Classroom. Teacher and student can have live interactions,
that is not possible for a student but only a normal computer
assignment submission is easier than ever before. Learning
with internet connection is helpful for him to solve his
continues after the class also. Students collaborate with each
problems using wolfram. This is a big benefit of cloud
computing. Now a days higher educational institutes need to other, share their knowledge in Google classroom
handle a big amount of data, give service to various kinds of environment. It has also reduced the licensing cost of DIU.
devices like tablets-laptops and desktops, deal with scientific The university used another licensed web app for students
data and research. All of these can be easily managed with before using Google classroom.
lower cost using cloud.
There are more than 100 public and private universities in
Some case studies are shown below where the cloud system Bangladesh which facilitate thousands of students. A big
can be applied. number of these students have internet connection and
Case study: Result day server load modern devices and with the help of these they can access to
Every year when SSC or HSC result is published in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOP) conducted by Yale,
Bangladesh, education board server is overloaded with MIT, Harvard and other prestigious institutions.
requests from all over the country. Every student and their
guardians have to suffer for this overload. Thus many Challenges and Solutions:
students get their results late. If the traditional result server Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon
can be altered with cloud server then there will be no delay in University pointed out some “Barriers to Adoption” for
result publication as the cloud servers are capable of smart cloud. If these challenges can be resolved with the service
load balancing. Mr. Tamim Shahriar Subeen and Md. Ruhul provider then using the cloud service will be helpful and
Amin (Shajib) and their team showed in 2011 that cloud beneficial.[19]
technology is applicable in result publication. They
successfully applied the cloud infrastructure to host National Security The key concern is data privacy: users
University Bangladesh admission test result (2011-12) for do not have control of or know where
more than 400,000 students.[16] their data is being stored.
Interoperability A universal set of standards and/or
Case study: Computers for every school interfaces have not yet been defined,
Recently Bangladesh government has taken initiative plan resulting in a significant risk of vendor
for distributing computers to schools. If the primary schools lock-in.
are counted then there are 104017 Primary schools according Control The amount of control that the user has
to 2012 survey of BANBIES and a total student of over the cloud environment varies
19003210[17]. Distributing high power computers to all these greatly.
schools is a long term process and also costly but if there is a Performance All access to the cloud is done via the
cloud based system then a $100 laptop is enough for the internet, introducing latency into every
students. They can learn and do a lot of things using that communication between the user and
cheap laptop because all the computing and data storage are the environment.
done in the cloud server. Reliability Many existing cloud infrastructures
leverage commodity hardware that is
Case study: Schools for remote area known to fail unexpectedly.
Students of Bandarban, Khagrachari and Rangamati are Platform or Some cloud environments provide
mostly underprivileged in education sector. They don’t have Language support for specific platforms and
good schools or good teachers. Teachers from town areas are Specificity languages only.
not acquainted with remote areas like this so they don’t want
to go there. If a cloud based education system is made for the Table 1: Challenges of Cloud Computing
students of those areas then they will be advanced more in
education and obviously Bangladesh will be benefited. IV. CONCLUSION
Grameenphone and Jaago foundation jointly established an Cloud computing is a revolutionary technology in modern
online school in Bandarban on March, 2014.[18] era. It has opened a wider aspect of computing application
and provides a global platform for people. It is helpful for
Success story: Google classroom and DIU every sector from enterprise usage to educational purpose.
Traditional classroom (Four walled) seems to be less used in Last Access: 6th November, 2014, 4:00 p.m.
the future. Students will be much benefited. Institutes of
weak financial state can have high computing facilities [17] http://www.moedu.gov.bd/index.php?
option=com_content&task=view&id=300&Itemid=301
within low cost. After above mentioned discussion, it is clear
Last Access: 4th November, 2014, 10:30 p.m.
that Bangladeshi education sector will bloom if the cloud is
[18] http://www.thedailystar.net/bandarban-children-see-a-ray-of-light-
applied successfully. 16369
Last Access: 3th November, 2014, 6:25 p.m.
[19] https://www.sei.cmu.edu/sos/research/cloudcomputing/cloudbarriers.cf
m
References: Last Access: 8th November, 2014, 1:00 a.m.

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