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Education Amidst the Pandemic: The Role of Cloud-Based Learning Platforms in Continuing Learning and Instruction

Education Amidst the Pandemic: The Role of Cloud-Based Learning Platforms in Continuing Learning and Instruction

Learning how technology can be used in education is not a new endeavor. In fact, global edtech investments reached $18.66 billion in 2019 alone, and experts predicted the overall market for online education to reach $350 billion by 2025.    

Digital communication and cloud-based learning platforms have been around even before the health crisis. With that said, the global edtech market is still in its early stages. So when the pandemic struck the whole world in 2020, educational institutions from all over the world had to transition to the online space faster than they anticipated. 

In only a few months, the pandemic upended the way people learn and teach, especially with the implementation of social distancing requirements. Students all of a sudden could no longer attend in-person lectures and gather in classrooms. 

Furthermore, stay-at-home orders also meant schools had to be shut down and instructors had to rely heavily on remote learning platforms to continue delivering education to learners. As a result, education abruptly became based on digital communication and online platforms for millions of students.  

Given these scenarios, the pandemic rapidly spawned and diversified the uses of technology in education. Some popular solutions that helped keep students learning even in the middle of a global crisis include virtual tutoring, mobile applications, video conferencing tools, and virtual computer labs

The benefits of cloud computing in education amidst school closures and stay-at-home measures 

As the pandemic compelled learning institutions to suddenly switch to distance learning, having cloud-based learning platforms in education turned from a nice-to-have project to a priority. Since students and teachers have limited to no access to physical campus resources, cloud computing is among the solutions colleges and universities implemented to give their learners and educators access to computer programs that used to run exclusively on more advanced machines.   

This abrupt and widespread adoption of cloud-based learning platforms in education brought about significant challenges for its users. Some students without their own devices or reliable internet access struggle to participate in remote learning. This accessibility gap can be seen between income brackets within countries. 

For example, students coming from a household with high socioeconomic status (SES) tend to have more access to digital learning materials and engage in regular educational activities more than their peers from low SES households. 

Aside from this, teachers and educators themselves are also struggling with the abrupt shift. After all, their community needs to train themselves on how technology can be used in education first so that they can help their students do the same when classes start. Their familiarity and efficiency in using cloud-based learning platforms can greatly impact the quality of instruction they can impart. 

With that said, this unprecedented shift to online learning resources also introduced many advantages for its users amidst COVID-19:  


1. Continued education despite school closures. 

One of the most significant benefits of cloud computing and web browser-based platforms is that they helped reduce the disruption of education in many higher education institutions. Even when students cannot attend their classes on-site due to university closures, cloud-based learning platforms and other web-based learning resources enabled them to connect with their instructors and complete their learning programs wherever they are. 

2. Reduced reliance on high-spec hardware. 

Cloud-based learning platforms do not require costly end-user devices. Rather, they can be operated well even on less expensive hardware, which is the kind usually readily available to both students and teachers. With this, schools that handed Chromebooks to their students during the pandemic can get the most out of their investment by letting learners use the devices as learning resources and virtual computer lab devices. 

In the end, this allows all learners and instructors to access their learning materials remotely, no matter what internet-connected device they are using. 

3. Fewer upfront costs for learning institutions. 

In connection with the previous item, cloud-based learning platforms such as virtual computer labs also reduced the need for colleges and universities to purchase high-cost hardware and software licenses. Moreover, virtual lab solutions such as CloudSwyft allow higher education institutions to easily scale their learning platforms according to their actual enrollments, ensuring that they are only paying for the services they actually use. 

Cloud-based learning platforms are usually customizable and flexible, and they enable learning institutions to maximize their cloud-based assets while delivering an accessible learning experience to their students.  

4. Up-to-the-minute learning materials. 

Another notable impact of cloud computing in teaching and learning is that it allowed educators to update their learning materials and lesson plans in real-time. All they need to do is coordinate with their cloud-based learning platform provider to make sure their program and instructional materials are up-to-date. With this, students get to learn using the latest and the best resources. 

5. More learning opportunities for learners affected by the pandemic. 

Students need at least a device with an adequate internet connection to access cloud-based learning resources. With this, they can easily acquire the skills and qualifications they need from prestigious universities to transition into their desired careers at no additional costs.

Online learning environments also enable students to use advanced software programs whenever they want. Before the pandemic, this has been a big advantage for those who cannot use on-site computer laboratories outside class hours due to their jobs or other commitments. Today, with the pandemic closing down whole campuses all over the world, this feature came to benefit every student.

All in all, web-based learning environments help make higher education more accessible to all learners regardless of their location, financial situation, or other circumstances brought about by the pandemic. 

These are just some of the many challenges and benefits that learning institutions must recognize and address to be able to utilize cloud-based learning platforms more effectively, even after the pandemic has been resolved. 

Using cloud-based computer labs to sustain practical instruction

One important innovation that helped support high-quality instruction during these unprecedented times are cloud-based computer labs

Also called virtual computer labs, this innovative technology hosts a learning platform on the cloud to make it accessible to its users via web browsers. It gives both students and teachers the ability to use software programs as if the applications were running on their own devices, eliminating the need to access physical computer labs on-site. If you want to read more about how the need for cloud-based computer labs emerged outside of the context of the pandemic, you can check out this blog. 

Virtual computer labs improve students’ access to robust software applications such as AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Microsoft Azure Console, for example. They also help provide a reliable and standardized learning environment to all students, regardless of the differences in their devices. So whether learners have a laptop, tablet, or Chromebook, they can have the access to virtual computer labs to complete practical tests, acquire job-essential skills and prepare for life after school. 

Using virtual computer labs beyond the pandemic 

Since vaccination programs are in full swing in different parts of the world, campuses will likely open their doors to their learners one after another. However, this does not mean that the whole system will transition back to its previous setup and abandon web-based learning platforms altogether. 

Now that so many students and educators have been using online platforms to communicate, learn, and teach, it’s likely that they will demand for more cloud-based learning platforms and distance learning options even after the world returns to normal.

Online learning environments and cloud-based computer labs are indeed helpful during the pandemic. However, it’s worth noting that the benefits they bring can continue to be of help to both learners and instructors in the future. After all, cloud computing is convenient, easy to access, and affordable for both parties. 

With the pandemic effectively demonstrating the countless benefits of using cloud-based learning platforms and virtual computer labs (although in an abrupt and overwhelming process), educational institutions now have the task of diving deeper into the uses of cloud computing in education. They must learn to further explore the possibilities that come with it to continue to deliver convenient, accessible, and ultramodern learning processes for all. 

How to adapt and transition to using cloud-based learning platforms  

As mentioned in the earlier parts of this blog, the pandemic not only hastened the move from in-person instruction to online learning but also made such a transition crucial for colleges and universities. Unfortunately, adopting cloud-based learning platforms seems like a daunting endeavor to higher education institutions, especially to those with lean IT teams. 

If you are interested in implementing web-based technologies such as virtual computer labs in your institution, it helps to consider this move as a series of steps rather than a one-time event. On that note, here’s a brief overview of the actions you can take to start using cloud-based learning platforms and, ultimately, create accessible learning for all your students. 

1. Develop a detailed roadmap. 

Again, keep in mind that a move to the cloud is a series of improvements rather than a single event. This means that you don’t have to accomplish all your long-term goals at the same time. 

On that note, it’s best to start your journey to the cloud by plotting every step of your cloud-based learning platform implementation. If you aren’t sure how to begin, you can start by listing down what you want to accomplish. Identify the IT infrastructure, assets, applications, and other processes you need to be able to consider your virtual computer lab implementation a success.

Doing these will help you identify and establish your key performance indicators (KPIs) for this project which, in turn, will help you make the transition more efficient.  

2. Identify the applications you need. 

The next step you’ll need to take is to identify the applications you need to host on the cloud. Different disciplines require different software applications, and you won’t need every single program that your cloud service provider offers. 

With this, think about the programs your students need to continue their education. Do you have existing licenses for these applications? What return on investment can you expect by providing student access to these programs through your cloud-based platform this time around? 

Answering questions like these guides you in getting only the cloud hosting services you need, removing unnecessary ones in your transition, and maximizing your investment. 

3. Find the right cloud provider to partner with. 

Now that you have a clear idea of what you need and what you want to achieve, the next thing you’ll need to do is identify a cloud service provider who can support your web-based learning platform requirements. However, finding the right one may be a challenge, and you’ll need to be meticulous in your search. 

To help you out, here are some key factors to look for when screening potential providers:

  • The tools they have available to facilitate the process 
  • Their level of experience in delivering cloud-based learning platforms 
  • Their experience in working with learning institutions with similar course offerings or specialties
  • Their flexibility in scaling learning environments according to your enrollments or requirements

Integrating a cloud-based learning platform into your curriculum can be tricky, but having a professional service provider like CloudSwyft by your side can help you minimize transition chaos and make the process as smooth as possible. 

4. Build your virtual computer lab or web-based learning environment. 

Once you have your transition plan mapped out with your service provider, it’s time to build your cloud-based learning platform and integrate it into your curriculum. 

The biggest challenge in this stage is that you need to introduce your cloud-based learning environment or virtual computer lab with the least disruption and over the shortest time possible. Fortunately, an experienced service provider should be able to help you not only build your learning platform according to your requirements but also easily integrate it into your existing systems. In the end, you can ensure a smooth and uninterrupted education for your students. 

5. Perform regular maintenance as you move forward. 

Once your virtual computer labs or other cloud-based learning platforms are in place, all that’s left to do is ensure they are optimized, secure, and up-to-date moving forward. Observing its performance and watching out for issues is crucial in delivering undisturbed learning experiences to your students. 

Ensuring your online learning environments are operating without a problem helps your learners adjust to the new technology, alleviate their worries or difficulties in using such platforms and, ultimately, provide them with the education they need at their convenience. 

Learn to implement virtual computer labs in your university to prepare for the world after COVID-19

The move from in-person to remote learning is nothing new. It’s been around even before the pandemic started. However, the pandemic declared in 2020 prompted students to learn from their own homes and even use their own devices. 

Campuses may have been closed, but cloud computing helped them continue their classes and programs amidst the COVID-19 health crisis. Furthermore, cloud-based learning platforms helped higher education institutions reach students who had been affected by the pandemic, both directly or indirectly. But as colleges and universities continue to incorporate cloud services into their curriculums and course offerings, finding the right service provider becomes more crucial. 

If you are yet to find a virtual lab solutions provider for your specific requirements, CloudSwyft is here for you. We are one of the leading providers learning institutions trust when it comes to implementing cloud-based learning platforms such as virtual computer labs. We have the technical expertise and industry experience to help you deliver your curriculum and get the most out of your online learning environments. 

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us or request a demo if you’re looking to adopt cloud-based learning platforms in education. Our experts will be more than happy to help you find the right solution for your institution’s needs and budget. 

How Virtual Computer Labs Are Revolutionising the Way Universities Teach

How Virtual Computer Labs Are Revolutionising the Way Universities Teach

Colleges and universities provide students with on-campus computer laboratories which they can use for coursework, research and other learning activities. These labs usually house dozens to thousands of computers equipped with software applications for different purposes. 

Computer labs are instrumental in helping students learn, work with software programs, complete assignments and interact with their instructors. Most importantly, these IT labs enable learners to acquire digital skills critical in the modern workplace without having to purchase their own hardware and software. 

With that said, it’s worth noting that physical computer labs are a considerable expense on the part of educational institutions. Additionally, operating, overseeing and maintaining such infrastructure can get complicated and expensive at times.

And even though laptop and computer ownership among students has been on the rise in recent years, this trend has not eliminated the need for campus IT labs. There are many reasons for this: 

  • There’s still a significant lack of computer ownership in some student populations all over the world. 
  • Not a lot of students who own computers have the raw computing power needed to support specialized software applications. 
  • Many specialized software applications are too expensive for students to afford. 

With all of these factors in play, universities must continue to provide students with access to computer labs and, ultimately, prepare them for life after school. 

Fortunately, advances in operating systems and virtual machine technology are improving the way institutions teach today. In this age, colleges and universities can offer students an accessible and productive learning experience through cloud-based computer labs. These are also referred to as “remote labs,” “web labs,” “distributed learning labs,” or “virtual labs.” 

Remote labs allow students to perform their coursework in a virtual learning environment anytime and anywhere, as long as they have a device connected to the Internet. Aside from that, these virtual computer labs also: 

  • Support and accommodate distance learning 
  • Allow learners to easily and quickly assess the educational resources they need 
  • Provide an efficient and cost-effective alternative for schools without the ability or means to build and maintain computer labs 
  • Maximise software licenses and reduce expenses 
  • Help develop digital skills and hone employability skills for all students, including those who prefer to learn remotely or flexibly.  

Cloud-based learning platforms in education enhance the learning processes and help modernize instruction in today’s increasingly digital world. If you are considering implementing a virtual computer lab for your school or university to enjoy these benefits, this in-depth blog is for you.

In the sections below, we cover the following topics to give you more insights on how cloud-based computer labs are changing the way universities teach, and how you can make them work for you: 

  • What is a virtual computer lab? 
  • How the need for cloud-based computer labs emerged
  • A quick comparison of traditional and cloud-based computer labs
  • Advantages of using cloud-based learning platforms in education
  • Best practices for implementing virtual computer labs in universities 

What is a virtual computer lab?

A virtual computer lab is a learning platform hosted on the cloud and made accessible to its users via web browsers. This technology gives students the ability to access software programs and work with them as if the applications were running on their own computers. 

An important thing to note about cloud-based learning platforms in education is that the performance of the platform does not depend on a computer’s processing power. Rather, it relies on the strength of the user’s internet connection. This makes it possible for students with older computers to use specialized software without much struggle.  

Moreover, this feature is critical in helping both students and educators in technical fields adapt to online learning. Technical disciplines such as computer science, information technology, engineering and architecture often require advanced software programs, which then require certain computer specifications. However, thanks to cloud computing and remote access technologies, technical education can now also be supported online.  

How the need for cloud-based computer labs emerged

To have a deeper understanding of the impact of virtual lab solutions on the way universities and learning institutions teach, it helps to look into why the need for these technologies emerged in the first place. 

Historically, it was in 1983 when the Apple II computer began to be used in education. This was the time when personal computers were found to be suited for teaching and learning as well. 

However, it was in 1990 when computers became a more important tool in education. Around this time, students and teachers started using word processors for completing assignments and writing essays. Then, in 1996, administrators started preparing their schools and institutions for the Internet age by rolling out server installations and web page creations.  

Eventually, campuses started building physical computer labs to grant that easy access to technology students couldn’t afford or have at home. Computer laboratories during this time were simple: they were equipped with computers, scanners and printers for completing coursework. Some were designed to help students learn basic coding skills. 

Then, as the 2000s entered, the use and adoption of the Internet became widespread. By then, almost every classroom in the U.S. had computers connected to the Internet. 

However, we seem to be reaching the end of the computer lab era in recent years. With the increasing popularity, personalization and affordability of mobile devices, students carry more computing power in their pockets than ever before. Aside from that, the recent pandemic also disrupted face-to-face learning in 2020 and abruptly implemented remote learning on a larger scale.  

It’s also worth noting that the technology we have today keeps evolving. Today, universities are now able to build cloud-based computer labs in partnership with service providers like CloudSwyft. Institutions can now provide students and educators with all the tools they need for their courses wherever they are. With this, students are no longer bound to a certain location or schedule, but can learn anywhere and anytime they wish. 

Colleges and universities must learn to adapt to this era of personal computer ownership and increasing connectivity. The times we now live in are different, and the way students learn and educators teach have drastically changed over the years. IT departments must find ways to deliver better learning experiences while taking affordability, accessibility and security into consideration. 

A quick comparison between traditional and cloud-based computer labs

If you are planning to implement a virtual learning environment in your institution, another discussion worth looking into is the comparison between traditional and cloud-based computer labs. Other than the flexibility and accessibility that virtual computer labs offer and traditional labs cannot, cloud-based technologies also bring about significant cost savings. 

An EDUCAUSE 2019 panel discussion on computer lab investments highlighted the following: 

  • Physical computer labs are only lightly used throughout the semester; usage peaks at the end of each term. 
  • Research computing requires the latest GPUs and massive amounts of RAM. 
  • Institutions need to deliver required software programs for online courses to a growing number of off-campus students. 

With all of that said, 2019 case studies with Emory University, University of California Irvine, and Ithaca College showed that traditional computer labs do not fully meet the needs of today’s universities. And to address such gaps and find that balance between the learning experience and expenses, institutions are considering moving their computer labs to the cloud. 

The costs involved with traditional computer labs 

Here are some of the costs colleges and universities often work with when it comes to building and maintaining physical computer labs: 

  • Machine and equipment costs 
  • Personnel costs for troubleshooting, maintenance and software installation
  • Repair and upgrade costs 
  • Software licenses, antivirus protection and other core programs
  • Real estate costs 

The costs and components involved with virtual computer labs

In contrast, here are the common components of cloud-based computer labs that learning institutions need to invest in: 

  • Virtual Computing Lab Manager (VCL) – A centralized management console used to oversee all aspects of the cloud-based virtual lab 
  • Virtual Machine (VM) – An emulation of a computer system, a resource that runs programs and deploys apps using software instead of a physical computer 
  • Network Storage – Storage and network resources delivered by a virtual lab solutions provider to accommodate the user’s requirements 
  • Software licenses and other core programs necessary in coursework

Considering this list, implementing computer labs helps reduce machine, equipment and real estate costs. Furthermore, it lightens the load on IT support personnel. 

Other aspects to consider 

Both physical and virtual computer labs are dependent on power and network infrastructure. Consequently, both types of IT labs can be greatly affected by infrastructure failures, although in different ways. 

In traditional computer laboratories, Internet-related issues only compromise Internet-based applications. Students and educators can continue working with local applications like Microsoft Office. On the other hand, Internet-related problems can halt access to a virtual lab. This is an aspect that needs to be considered and prepared for by universities implementing remote labs. 

Another topic to probe into when comparing traditional and virtual computer labs is user training. In the context of schools and universities, we have two users: the student and the educator. 

In a traditional IT lab setup, both users must pay attention to the typical guidelines in perusing the school’s hardware. Should any concern arise, they have IT support on-site to assist them. 

Meanwhile, with virtual labs, teaching instructors must first learn how to access and use the cloud-based learning platforms in education. They often need to undergo a series of training to truly master the remote lab and prepare for technical problems in case they emerge. After this, they must relay their learnings and help students get on the platform as well. 

Some students, particularly non-technical ones, may be overwhelmed with using a virtual computer lab for the first time. To enable these learners to fully assimilate the process, learning institutions may need to dedicate the first few sessions in a semester to demonstrate how to access and use these tools. 

Nevertheless, the use of virtual computer labs in colleges and universities has been met with a positive response. This is especially true for students who are enjoying its various benefits, such as accessibility, usability and affordability. Access and availability are becoming increasingly important to today’s learners, especially since a growing percentage of them work part- or full-time as well. 

Advantages of using cloud-based learning platforms in education

Since the pandemic broke out in 2020, cloud-based learning platforms in education are more important than ever. With that said, they are more than just problem-solvers. Virtual computer labs bring a slew of benefits that revolutionize the way universities teach today. 

Here are some of the most noteworthy advantages of using virtual computer labs: 

Reduced Hardware Expenses 

Learning institutions need to invest in computers, servers, printers, scanners, projectors and internet modems or wireless routers when building physical computer labs. On top of that, they also need to consider the costs of building a room which will house all the equipment along with furniture such as desks and chairs. Finally, they also need to invest in proper ventilation, maintenance and power supply. 

Meanwhile, adopting cloud-based learning platforms in education entails a reduced need for such hardware and infrastructure. On top of that, virtual lab solutions providers like CloudSwyft allow you to easily adjust your lab requirements according to your actual enrollments. As a result, universities get to maximize their investment and deliver an accessible learning experience to their students. 

Improved Accessibility 

As mentioned earlier, cloud-based computer labs can be accessed by simply using Internet browsers. This means that both students and educators do not need to own expensive computers to access their learning resources. 

In the same way, they also do not need to invest in external storage devices. Since all the learning materials and programs they need are in the cloud, there’s no need for USBs and external drives. As long as they are connected to the Internet, they can enjoy access to their academic information anytime, anywhere. 

Finally, this improved accessibility benefits both students and teachers in simple yet impactful ways. For learners, cloud-based computer labs enable them to learn at their own pace and wherever they are. For educators, the technology allows them to grade tests or develop course curricula from the comfort of their home and whenever convenient for them.  

Reduced Carbon Footprint 

If your institution strives to be environmentally friendly in its own ways, then this benefit may resound with your values. 

Using cloud-based technologies for education can greatly reduce your carbon footprint by eliminating the frequent use of paper, copy toner and other paper and wood products. The lower number of server rooms at your campus due to your transition to the cloud can also bring down your institution’s CO2 emissions and energy consumption. 

Access to the Latest Learning Materials 

Truth be told, university-level textbooks and other similar learning materials can be rather expensive. On top of that, they’re also quite challenging to maintain and update regularly. 

Cloud-based learning resources and programs are an effective solution to this problem. First, virtual computer labs and digital content tend to be a lot less costly. This allows lower-income students to easily access high-quality learning materials like others. 

Moreover, it’s worth noting that cloud-based materials are easy to update in real-time. All you need to do is coordinate with your virtual lab provider to make sure your software programs and virtual lab environments are up-to-date. With this, students get to enjoy using and learning from the latest resources and tools. 

Best practices for implementing virtual computer labs in universities 

Now that you have a good understanding of what virtual labs are and the role they play in universities, you may be considering implementing one in your own institution. This endeavour can overwhelm many administrators, but we are here to help you out. 

Here are some of the best practices for using virtual labs that you need to take note of to achieve a smooth transition and overall experience. 

  • Think of what your virtual labs will be for

One of the first things you will need to do before launching remote labs in your university or college is to think about what role it will play. Do you intend to use it in a classroom setup to deliver software programs to students enrolled in a particular course? Or are you thinking of using it in an open-access model for all students to use on-demand? 

This will enable you and your virtual lab provider to work out the best arrangement for you. 

  • Determine how many students will access the virtual computer lab.

Another factor worth considering before using virtual labs is the number of students who will access them. Aside from that, you will also need to look at your traditional computer labs’ peak and non-peak utilization times. These figures will help your provider effectively plan your cloud-based computer labs’ capacity. 

  • Identify the software applications your students’ needs

Different disciplines will require different software applications. With this, make sure to identify the programs you need and want to be hosted on the cloud. You should also take this opportunity to understand the licenses you have for these applications. 

CloudSwyft can deliver virtual lab spaces for applications like Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure Console, UiPath RPA, Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk Maya, Mathworks and AutoCAD, among many others. 

If you have any questions, concerns or issues related to the programs you want in your virtual lab, make sure to coordinate with your provider right away. 

Implement Virtual Computer Labs in Your University with CloudSwyft

If your university is yet to adopt cloud-based learning platforms in education, it is high time that you consider making the move. Virtual computer labs not only make learning accessible and flexible but also help your institution maximize your IT lab budget. Implementing them enables you to use every penny to improve the way students learn, enhance the way educators teach and make up-to-date learning resources readily available for everyone. 

When it comes to implementing virtual labs in universities and colleges, CloudSwyft is the provider institutions trust. 

With our virtual lab solutions, we help you build cloud-based computer labs tailored to your specific requirements and enrollments. Most importantly, with our technical expertise and experience, we empower you to deliver your curriculum and get the most out of your online learning platform. 

Want to learn more about our virtual labs? Contact us today or request a demo!

What You Need to Know About Our Improved Virtual Labs

What You Need to Know About Our Improved Virtual Labs

The integration of technology into education is transforming the way students learn — and access the opportunity to learn. Innovations such as online learning, virtual universities and virtual laboratories make it possible for students who could not afford education expenses to receive higher education. It also allows them to learn at their own pace, place and preferred learning method. 

From the start, the CloudSwyft team has been determined to digitalize the education industry. This is because we believe that all students should have the chance to learn job-essential skills, regardless of whether they’re learning remotely or flexibly. On top of that, in this time where physical schools are closed down due to health crises, we believe that learning should go on. 

It is these beliefs and motivations that drive us to deliver our virtual lab solution and improve it every single day. 

How Does CloudSwyft’s Virtual Lab Work? 

CloudSwyft’s virtual lab solution brings the technology to the IT sector and replaces traditional IT labs for large universities and STEM/engineering-focused institutions. With our learning platform, we aim to help students gain key job skills and start solid careers in the industry. 

Another important point to remember about our virtual labs is that they are cloud-based platforms. With this, we enable students to access their personal lab environments using any device with a browser and an internet connection. They can use our learning platform without being constrained by the specifications of their own hardware. 

What Makes CloudSwyft’s Virtual Lab Solutions Different from the Rest?

Technology has come a long way, and more providers are offering increasingly innovative virtual lab solutions to accommodate learning needs as they emerge. Considering this, what sets CloudSwyft’s virtual labs apart from the rest?  

The distinguishing factor is our focus on education. We take pride in being the only solution built specifically and primarily for higher education. This is a significant aspect because educational institutions have very particular needs. 

Here are just some of the many features of CloudSwyft’s virtual labs that help address learning challenges: 

  • Highly customizable lab environments – It does not matter if your institution specializes in IT, engineering or design. We can easily customize lab environments to include all the software tools your instructors and students will need. 
  • Personal lab environments – Our virtual laboratories allow students to learn at their own pace as they are a hundred percent personal and persistent. Each simulated lab remains exclusively accessible to each student throughout the semester. 
  • Virtual exams and assessments – Aside from conducting classes, instructors can also hold exams and assessments inside the simulated lab environment. 
  • Cost-effective solutions – Savings is one of the biggest advantages our partner educational institutions gain with us. Our virtual lab solutions can replace or supplement physical IT infrastructure and reduce maintenance costs. 
  • Cloud-based solutions – Our virtual labs run on a virtual machine and through a web browser. This effectively removes the need for high-spec computers and major software installations. Learners can smoothly work with various programs on their browsers. 

With all of that said, our cloud-based learning platforms also accommodate the needs of K-12 institutions as well as governments and NGOs. These are the features we deliver to all our partners: 

  • Lab infrastructure and software tools in personal and persistent lab environments
  • 24/7 lab accessibility 
  • Remote lab access; virtual labs require only a browser and an internet connection 
  • A high degree of customization according to course requirements 
  • Assessment capabilities 
  • Automated deployment  

To give you an overview, these are some of the areas we cover and applications we deliver via virtual labs: 

Information Technology 

  • Linux
  • Python 
  • SQL
  • Hadoop 
  • Microsoft Office
  • Visual Studio
  • Java
  • Oracle
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Azure Console
  • AWS Cloud Console
  • Alibaba Cloud Console
  • GCP Console
  • Hortonworks 
  • Cybersecurity Applications
  • UiPath RPA 
  • Statistica 


  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Blender
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Graphisoft


  • Mathworks
  • Matlab
  • SolidWorks
  • ArcGIS


  • AutoCAD
  • ArchiCAD
  • Autodesk Revit

How We’re Keeping Virtual Labs Up-to-Date

Technologies are constantly evolving, and so do our education partners’ needs. With this, we see to it that our cloud-based virtual labs don’t remain stagnant. 

We stay in touch with our university partners and gather feedback from them. We then use these insights to improve our product and release relevant updates every month. As of October 2021, we have:

Increased the number of lab profiles accommodated – we are now able to make room for more than 200+ profiles without a problem

Added more control for education customers over how their students use their lab environments 

What Are the Advantages of Using Virtual Labs? 

Our commitment to improving education through digitalization motivates us to keep upgrading our product. With this, we know that there will always be more features to enhance or create moving forward. 

We are, however, proud to say that CloudSwyft’s current virtual lab solutions are able to bring our education partners numerous advantages, like the following: 

Opportunities to roll out flexible, hybrid and remote learning 

Opportunities to better utilise or maximise software licenses 

Reduced reliance on high-cost physical IT infrastructure and other learning materials

Options to easily adjust lab requirements each semester based on actual enrollments 

Substantial productivity improvements for both instructors and students 

Build Your Own Virtual Labs With a Capable Partner

Building a virtual laboratory to enhance or continue instruction is a complex endeavour. You need to consider various elements such as design and user experience to build an effective learning tool. On top of that, you must ensure that your instructors and students can easily access your learning platform. 

Despite these challenges, integrating virtual labs into your curriculum is well worth your time and effort as it can positively impact the way students learn. It gives them plenty of opportunities to dabble with IT equipment and software programs whenever and wherever they are. Most importantly, it grants them unlimited access to learning materials — something that may not be available to some students due to any limiting circumstances, like the ongoing pandemic.

If you are interested in building a virtual laboratory for your higher learning institution, the CloudSwyft team is here to help. Our cloud-based technology learning platforms help you deliver your curriculum online seamlessly and according to your specific requirements. Ultimately, we’re here to help your students actively learn and collaborate anytime, anywhere. 

Get in touch with us to hear more about what we can do for you. You can also request a demo today!