Cloud fabric played key role in higher education before pandemic, says Rice University CIO – MeriTalk

For some in higher education, the pandemic hasn’t really sparked anything new in the structure of the higher education cloud or what the classrooms of the future will look like.

Paul Padley, vice president for IT and chief information officer, at Rice University, explained that higher education is already on the road for distance learning or dual-taught during an online event titled Reimagining Higher Education Technology to Meet Post-Pandemic Imperatives hosted by Fed Insider.

“I think the cloud strategy was already the path we were on. What happened is that everything accelerated. For example, our learning management systems were already installed in the cloud anyway. What we’ve done, for example, is buy a lot more storage for the videos to be hosted in the cloud. I haven’t seen the pandemic start anything new. What I ‘ve seen the pandemic accelerate many transitions,” Padley said.

Padley also went on to describe how the need for fast and accessible master’s programs has also driven the need and uses of cloud and online technologies for these programs.

“The other place where we’ve seen huge growth is in professional master’s programs, for these people who have degrees who work in the industry, and then they come back and try to upskill and get professional master’s degrees in an online environment.. This is something that is exploding on many campuses and has paved the way for more cloud infrastructure,” Padley said.