March 26, 2020 | News

A Pandemic and No IT Budget

Find ways to use the IT tools and budget you already have to serve students in alternative learning formats–now and in the future.

3 min

We don’t know what the financial impact will be, but it’s not looking good. 

Expecting a drop in enrollment and retention, schools are already taking drastic measures. Central Washington declared financial exigency. Quinnipiac is cutting salaries for faculty and staff. States are cancelling or waiving exams including the SAT, ACT and LSAT. Universities that rely heavily on international students are also bracing for long term impacts.

The American Council on Education (ACE) is calling for $7.8 billion to “support and sustain the rapid transition to remote/online learning.”

But many schools can’t afford to wait.

We’re seeing IT departments across the country step up and bootstrap solutions to support a quick transition to remote and online learning virtually overnight. 

In an effort to keep students connected to vital campus tech, schools are quickly adopting tools like Microsoft Remote Desktop, guacamole, LogMeIn, APIs, and using VPNs or opening firewalls to allow RDP connections straight to their computers.

With each of these solutions teams have to consider the security and risk, network load, budget impact and end-user (student and staff) experience in short order.

Seeing the need for a secure and financially viable solution, our team developed a new tool and made it available to colleges and universities around the world for free. 

The LabStats Remote Desktop Access Tool is a dashboard that students can use to find and remotely log into a computer on campus.

Security and Risk

Connecting students to a secure campus network via the internet may send chills up your spine, but the LabStats team has taken every step to ensure utmost security.

Data mostly moves across the longstanding “core” product of LabStats–which exists in the Microsoft Azure Cloud–the industry leader in data security. 

Network Load

The tool randomizes the computers that it shows to students to try and spread the load out across them and prevent two students from trying to use the same computer at the same time.

Student Experience

Students can use a link (through their school’s website or an email) to get a real-time list of all available computers on campus. They can then choose a computer to remote into, in a straightforward user interface that doesn’t require any special technical knowledge.

Budget Impact

To use the Remote Desktop Access Tool, you will need to have LabStats installed on student (and possibly staff) computers.

If you already have LabStats installed on campus computers, the tool is absolutely free. LabStats users always receive free automatic updates, ongoing support and access to the newest tools– including LabFind, LabMaps and now the Remote Desktop Access tool. Just schedule a Tutorial with your Account Manager to set it up. 

If you do not have LabStats computer lab monitoring software yet, we’re here for you too. Pricing is simple– $6 a license annually (one license per computer). There’s no hidden fees and no additional cost for support. 

LabStats Cloud users get access to all our tools (including new tools as they’re developed), automatic updates, a dedicated support team that you can reach by phone, email or chat with any questions you may have.

And due to the urgent need, we’re waiving installation fees for a limited time to help you get up and running quickly. This is not a sales tactic, this is us doing what we can to be good partners to the colleges and universities that are facing unprecedented challenges. Schedule a Walkthrough to see the product in action, ask questions and get the tools you need for your school.

Dozens of universities have already adopted the LabStats Remote Access Tool to ease the technical and financial burden of a quick transition to alternative learning environments.

If you have any questions about providing access to campus resources to remote students, we’re here to help.