The pandemic threw colleges and universities around the world into an abrupt transition to remote learning.
In response to the urgent need, our development team built and released the Remote Access Dashboard, keeping students connected to vital campus tech while safe at home.
Now that we’re looking toward Fall 2020, many schools are still unsure if their campuses will be opening again. And if they are open, will students show up? Could additional waves of local cases force closures later on?
Flexible, sustainable and affordable solutions are needed now more than ever to hedge against the widespread uncertainty.
Like many industries, higher education has been hit with widespread layoffs and furloughs. The staff who remain are encouraged to work remotely.
Open campuses are operating with skeleton crews, leaving staffing computer labs low on the priority list. However, without staffing, students lose access to vital tech resources.
For students, the quick transition to remote learning requires balancing new priorities (including caring for family members) and requires a flexible schedule. They don’t just need to use a campus computer between classes, but may need to log in before dawn or after the kids go to bed.
It’s possible to provide 24-hour remote access to computer labs, without the need to pull staff away from essential duties to monitor usage in person.
Students were just as unprepared to move to remote learning as their schools. Many relied on classroom tools and computer labs to complete their assignments.
Now with campus closures hanging in limbo and 11 million college students out of work, expecting students to upgrade their machines or purchase software to meet class demands is not a realistic option for many.
How do engineering students run CAD when all they have is a Chromebook? How do students run video-editing software when they’re relying on a hand-me-down laptop with limited processing power? It’s possible to connect students to powerful university software through their personal devices.
Go Beyond VDI
Many organizations are considering moving to a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) as a possible long term solution to campus closures and an increase in remote learning. But VDI can be prohibitively expensive, straining already limited budgets and demanding additional staff time. Even if you made the move to VDI some machines would have to remain to support software packages that don’t work with VDI (including CAD, Adobe, statistical analysis software, engineering software, etc.).
Instead, you can maximize what you already have. With the Remote Access Dashboard, you can use the hardware that’s already on campus and the software that you’re already paying for–no need to add cloud licenses or reimage machines.
The LabStats Remote Access Dashboard goes beyond VDI to provide 24 hour access to campus hardware and software, in a flexible, affordable and sustainable way. Whether your school is embracing remote learning, returning to campus or caught in limbo, you can keep students connected.