A happy cloud for higher education

Find out why educators and students love DigitalOcean for data science research, digital humanities projects, technical tutorials, and online learning and collaboration. Our tutorials and tools below will show you how to incorporate new technical skills and tools in your teaching, research, and learning.

A cloud that loves research and learning

How can the cloud help higher education?

Researchers, educators, and students from across academic disciplines use cloud computing resources for many different purposes, including machine learning, data science, learning to code, website and app development, as well as for hosting collaborative tools such as blogs, wikis, and e-learning platforms. Check out the tutorials below for ideas about how to incorporate cloud computing into your research or teaching.

But what is cloud computing, exactly?

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing resources as a service, meaning that the resources are owned and managed by the cloud provider rather than the end-user. In essence, cloud computing enables users to build apps, launch services, share media and data, and collaborate at a global scale without needing to purchase and manage the foundational software and hardware themselves. For more information on cloud computing, please see our guide A General Introduction to Cloud Computing.

How is DigitalOcean supporting higher education?

DigitalOcean is providing $100 of free credits to any educator, student, or researcher who wants to explore DigitalOcean products for higher education purposes. Educators and researchers that need more credits to support their projects are invited to apply to Hollie’s Hub for Good, which is committed to giving out $500,000 of free credits to projects that meet its criteria. For more information on free credits, please read the FAQ at the bottom of this page.

Why choose DigitalOcean?

DigitalOcean is committed to making open-source technologies and cloud infrastructure more accessible and inclusive for learners everywhere. We maintain a library of more than 3,000 free tutorials to help new and experienced developers around the world learn the technicals skills they need to launch their projects. As a values-driven organization, DigitalOcean is committed to community, simplicity, transparency, accountability, and love. To learn more about our mission and our values, please visit our About page.

Teach and learn popular tech skills 

You don’t need to be a technical expert to incorporate a technical project or lesson into your course or workshop.

Let your ideas mingle and soar

Great thinking doesn't happen in a vacuum. Cloud-powered tools like blogs, collaborative text editors, and messaging platforms can be invaluable for collaborating with students, researchers, and the public. Check out these self-hosted, open-source publishing and edtech tools that give you control over your data and the source code.

Create a blog for research or teaching using the blogging software WordPress.

Tutorial | One-click install

Use Discourse as a mailing list, discussion forum, long-form chatroom to organize communication around research or teaching.

Tutorial | One-click install

The collaborative writing tool Etherpad enables real-time collaborative text editing in the browser.

Tutorial | App Platform tutorial

Mattermost is an open-source collaboration and messaging platform comparable to Discord or Slack.


Self host your own social media platform with Mastodon.
One-click install

Create wikis for research and teaching with Wiki.js.

One-click install

BigBlueButton is a free software web conferencing system that features a whiteboard that suits lectures and training sessions.

One-click install

Moodle is a popular open-source learning platform.

One-click install

Jitsi Meet server provides multi-person video conference rooms while allowing admins full control over their data. End-to-end TLS encryption ensures that no one can snoop on the call.

Tutorial | One-click install

Chamilo is an open-source e-learning and collaboration platform with badges, certificates, and progress tracking.

One-click install

AzuraCast is a self-hosted, all-in-one web radio management suite. Using this AzuraCast 1-Click App and its powerful, intuitive web interface, you can start up a fully working web radio station in a few quick minutes.

One-click install

Mozilla’s Hubs Cloud Personal deploys a single server for private, collaborative immersive rooms that can be accessed on your desktop, mobile phone, or VR headset.

One-click install

Frequently asked questions

How do I activate $200 of free credits?

Sign up for an account using this link. You will need a credit card so that we can verify your identity, but you will not be charged or billed during your free trial. Once you have created an account, you will receive an email confirming you have been granted $200 of free credits.

Who is eligible for the free trial?

New customers to DigitalOcean with a valid credit card are eligible. You are eligible if you have never been a paying customer of DigitalOcean and have not previously signed up for the free trial.

Are there any limitations with the free trial?

The $200, 60-day free trial provides free credit up to $200 that must be used within 60 days. If you go over $200 in infrastructure services during the 60-day period, any overage charges will be charged to your credit card.

After 60 days, any active infrastructure services running on your account will be charged at the standard pricing, as described on the DigitalOcean website.

How much would I pay after the free trial expires?

Basic Droplets start at $5 per month, and are suitable for blogs and forums with low level traffic and small databases. To learn more about our Droplet offerings and compare prices with other cloud providers, please see our Droplets pricing page. To calculate prices for more extensive cloud architectures, please see our pricing calculator.

How can I browse and use DigitalOcean tutorials?

DigitalOcean tutorials are freely accessible on our Community site. Many of our How To Code and Website Development tutorials can be followed from a personal computer without any cloud services, and some can be followed entirely in the browser using our interactive terminal. Check out the tutorials listed above in the Teach and Learn Popular Tech Skills section, or browse more than 3,000 tutorials on our Community site.

How can I use free credits to deploy a website or app on DigitalOcean?

Sign up and activate your free credits using the instructions above. Once you have an account, you can use the free trial for any infrastructure services provided by DigitalOcean, including all Droplet plans, Spaces Object Storage, Block Storage, and Load Balancers.

If you want to install an app like WordPress or Discourse and don’t know where to start, we suggest creating an Ubuntu 20.04 Droplet using the cloud interface and then following our guide Initial Server Set Up with Ubuntu 20.04. Once your server is set up, you can follow our tutorials for installing the tools listed on this page, such as WordPress, Mattermost, and Discourse.

Alternatively, for a simplified installation process, you can browse our Marketplace for 1-click installation options for tools like WordPress, Jitsi, Docker, Moodle, or Wiki.js.

For more information on selecting the right product for your needs, check out our Getting Started guide.

How do I host a website on DigitalOcean?

Please visit our guide Getting Started with Hosting Website.

Is it true that I can deploy and host static sites for free on DigitalOcean?

Yes. You can deploy up to three static sites on DigitalOcean for free using App Platform. Hosting for these sites remains free indefinitely and does not require the use of credits. Read more about the free offerings on the App Platform product page, or visit our tutorial How to Deploy a Static Site to the Cloud with App Platform.

Is it possible to pre-pay for DO’s products?

Yes. You can read more about our pre-payment options in our guide How to Pay Your Bill.

Where can I learn more about DO’s products and documentation?

Please visit our Products page and Product Docs page.

We want to hear from you!

Have a question or idea to share about DigitalOcean tutorials and products for research or teaching? Send us a message about DigitalOcean for higher education by clicking the button to the right.