Software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivers software to a browser or mobile device from a public cloud. You can enjoy the functions of the software without the worries of installation and maintenance. Upgrades and improvements are applied transparently.
One of the largest SaaS categories is courseware, which delivers a structured educational experience that students can consume at their own pace. For example, MIT makes nearly its entire curriculum available for free. The Khan Academy has thousands of free courses covering everything from kindergarten education to postgraduate mathematics. The cloud makes all this possible.
Cloud communications services can serve multiple student populations simultaneously, enabling the large-scale collaboration that defines many aspects of distance learning. Services such as Google's G Suite for Education provide free or inexpensive software solutions that students can use to create documents, spreadsheets and slideshows that can be accessed from any computer or mobile device without installing software. Students can share their work with each other, and educators can create assignments and workflows that facilitate structured learning.
Blackboard is another cloud communication software solution designed specifically for the classroom. Educators can post assignments and background materials, track student progress, grade assignments and connect with students individually and as a group over video or text messages.