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The right classroom management solution can transform instruction by keeping students focused and supporting rich, collaborative learning experiences, which can lead to better student achievement.
But as a Year 1-11 educator with limited budgets and IT resources, you also need solutions that ﬁt your exact needs, so you can justify the costs and easily measure results.
Traditionally, school systems have hosted and managed software on school or district servers, however, cloud-based options have emerged that are hosted and maintained by the software provider.
Schools simply install an app on students’ devices, and teachers access the solution through any standard web browser.
Choosing which model is right for your school depends on a number of factors. Here are the top four benefits of each option.
Schools can implement cloud-based software without having to purchase or conﬁgure new servers, which makes for an easier initial roll out. Scaling up is easier as well; if you want to expand your use of the solution, simply add more licenses.
With a cloud-based model, you’ll pay a yearly subscription fee based on the number of users — but you don’t have to worry about extra expenses for hardware, maintenance, or upgrades. This makes it easier to budget for the solution, and the costs to get started aren’t as high.
When you opt for a cloud-based solution, upgrades happen automatically — so teachers always have access to the latest features. This not only saves the time and expense of upgrading but also allows changes to occur more incrementally. This is less disruptive for teachers than performing a major upgrade once a year that requires them to learn several new features at once.
When the software is hosted in the cloud, its functionality is independent of the user’s location. This makes deployment across multiple school sites easier, while also supporting distance and hybrid learning.
When you self-host the software, teachers access it over a local or wide area network instead of through the Internet. A school system’s Internet connection generally has less bandwidth capacity than its local and wide area networks. If your Internet connection is slow or unreliable, then hosting the solution on school or district servers might be a better option.
Most cloud providers take student data privacy and security very seriously. Even so, some K-12 leaders are uneasy about entrusting data to an outside entity. If you feel more comfortable safeguarding student information for yourself, then self-hosting might make more sense.
Although the initial costs of hosting the software yourself are higher, there are fewer ongoing expenses. While you still have to pay for upgrades, maintenance, and support, there are no yearly licensing fees involved. If you have the money to invest in the solution up front (and the staff expertise to conﬁgure and maintain servers), this might be the way to go.
While cloud-based deployment frees you from having to upgrade the software yourself, some school leaders would prefer to do this, because it allows them to test new features and make sure these work seamlessly within their EdTech environment before rolling them out to all users. Self-hosting lets you deploy updates as you see ﬁt.
Depending on your needs and priorities, you might also choose a mixed deployment by hosting certain software applications and leveraging the cloud for others or making both versions of the same software available to enjoy the benefits of each.
Lenovo’s industry-leading LanSchool classroom management software is available in either format, giving you the ﬂexibility to choose what works best for your schools.
The locally hosted version of LanSchool has been helping educators teach more effectively with technology for more than 30 years, while LanSchool Air gives schools a powerful cloud-based option.
Learn more about which product is right for you here.
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