In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and various travel restrictions, remote learning has become increasingly popular. In fact, some even see it as the next step (especially for higher-learning institutions).
We already have the example of several prestigious institutions like Harvard University Medical School or California State University, whose representatives announced they plan to continue with the virtual learning system for the time being.
However, now when things have settled down and most institutions have had the time to digest the situation, both students and educators have bigger expectations from the virtual learning system. The user experience needs to be attractive and interesting, so most students and teachers will enjoy continuing down this path.
Still, it can be difficult to create and implement a system that can efficiently manage so many users without proper resources. As a result, many universities and higher learning institutions have turned their attention towards VDI or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI, offers users access to a virtualized desktop which they can use to perform various activities from a remote location. Unlike the traditional structure, where users only have access to their desktop interface from a specific device, through VDI, users can use any device to access the virtualized desktop interface that’s assigned to their account.
Moreover, VDI supports the Bring Your Own Device policy that’s become quite popular in both schools and universities nowadays. By combining these two systems, we help schools and other educational institutions to cut down costs while also promoting the use of new technologies.
Among others, IT departments in schools and universities are tasked with maintaining and monitoring the devices used by students. This means tracking the actual device, updating its software, making sure it’s ready for use when a new school year starts, and so on.
Now, if the school uses a VDI structure, all these could be performed in a matter of minutes since virtual desktops can be wiped clean and regenerated using the same terminal, and updates can be sent out to all virtual desktops at once.
In addition, it’s easier to tackle security issues since all virtual desktops are connected to a centralized system where the administrator can enforce usage rules, maximum bandwidth and actions allowed, and more.
In a VDI system, students can connect to their assigned virtual desktops from a remote location and work on their homework using the available software tools. As a result, the school won’t have to spend money and resources on maintaining an actual physical IT lab that requires frequent maintenance and cleaning.
Moreover, administrators can create specific templates for different majors or for professors and students, to reduce the time spent with the customization and implementation.
If you want to implement the BYOD practice, a VDI system is incredibly helpful as it helps unify the gap between various operating systems. A virtualized desktop can be accessed from both Windows and Mac computers and it’s equally accessible from all compatible mobile devices.
In addition, you can create new accounts at any time during the school year (for visiting professors, transfer students, or any other scenarios). You just need the assistance of the system administrator and you’ll have everything ready within minutes (provided they already had a template for the account).
While the VDI system was initially created with the business setting in mind, its efficiency and ease-of-use proved extremely useful in a virtual education system. Moreover, if it’s used in combination with a VPN tool, your students could be enlisting from all over the world. In summary, this is a versatile and impressive system that may support the rise of virtual learning.