Using Box, PEI officials had students upload their documents to the cloud-based site, where the assignments were organized in various folders. Putting the documents on the Box website also saved educators time in converting each document to a digital format.

National surveys have shown that higher education is near the forefront of cloud computing adoption, despite persistent security concerns about moving student data away from campus servers and onto the internet.

Thirty-four percent of colleges and universities are implementing or maintaining cloud computing, according to a 2011 survey from CDW-G that tracked cloud adoption nationwide.

The survey questioned respondents from eight business and government sectors—and only large businesses adopted cloud computing more than higher education.

Colleges have gravitated toward cloud services—helping rid campuses of rooms filled with server racks that require costly and constant cooling—even as disturbing reports have surfaced this year. Nearly half of 1,200 IT decision makers polled by Trend Micro in June said they had encountered a cloud-based security incident within the past year.

Lingering security concerns could slow higher education’s shift to the cloud, experts said, but only 5 percent of college respondents to the CDW-G survey said they were “not considering” moving campus information to the cloud.

Three in 10 said they were planning a move to a cloud-computing network.


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