Meeting the demand for online education

The last year has seen a dramatic paradigm shift in the way education is delivered, and institutions have been forced to find new, innovative ways to deliver education

Once niche business tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have now become household names, with the population in lockdown and craving human contact. Google Classroom has become the norm for many primary and secondary pupils, with parents and schools struggling to adapt to this new way of working.

Digital pressure

Many educational establishments were caught off guard, unable to effectively deliver education to their students. Those that did have digital services in place were putting unprecedented levels of pressure on their providers. Global Hyperscalers such as Microsoft struggled to cope and were forced to throttle the bandwidth available to some services to ensure everyone could keep communicating and collaborating with one another in the ‘new normal’.

Smaller education technology companies were put under arguably greater pressure as many simply didn’t have the infrastructure and resources available to scale to meet increased demand. Add to this the pressure of being forced out of an office environment and into home working, many businesses were simply in survival mode.

Survive and thrive

But those businesses which were able to survive, now have an opportunity to thrive. This year has given the tech industry a 5–10 year acceleration of digital transformation; we’ve gone from ‘tech push’ – vendors trying to convince customers that tech is the answer to a question they perhaps didn’t have – to ‘tech pull’ – customers desperately seeking digital solutions to maintain contact and sustain education.

Enter the cloud

So how have businesses been able to cope with this acceleration in demand? The answer lies in cloud technology. Those who were already embracing cloud services simply needed to ‘turn the dial’ to ramp up and serve their audience. Those that were not already enjoying the benefits of cloud may well have struggled, or worse.

With access to seemingly infinite resources, the global public cloud vendors met the burgeoning demands of this paradigm shift with relative ease. There were stories of some throttling and slowness on both Microsoft and Google’s clouds, while Amazon Web Services (AWS) seemed to cope without any reported impacts to service.

Whether through autoscaling infrastructure, or manual ‘all hands to the pump’, those tech businesses that were already in the cloud simply needed to throw more resources at the challenge – something they were able to achieve with little to no delay or negative impact to their business.

Story of a thriving survivor

One such business that leveraged the cloud is Charanga. Charanga Musical School is a resource primarily aimed in the primary and secondary education music curriculum. An early adopter of AWS, Charanga went ‘all in’ in 2008. When Lockdown #1 started in March 2020, Charanga experienced a 300% increase in users logged in to their platform. Without immediate access to additional resources, the platform would not have been able to cope with this spike. Instead, Charanga successfully responded to the situation. With this experience and others behind them, Charanga are now looking to the future and their rapid expansion into new markets.

For the full story join our webinar ‘Optimising Availability and Performance of Edtech Applications with AWS’ to hear directly from Jay Gooby, head of technology at Charanga, about how working with AWS has enabled them to meet growing demand, and flex infrastructure up and down to keep costs in check.  Find out how working with AWS and AWS Partners can help your edtech business survive, thrive and innovate to deliver exciting education content in the ‘new normal’.

Watch the on-demand webinar with Charanga, Logicata and AWS to learn how your business can adapt, to deliver education online through the next decade and beyond.

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