VDI in Education

21/06/2018 16:20:26

Answer in Search of a Problem?


There are many conflicting views out there on the benefits of VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). Some believe VDI is an answer in search of a problem, while others see VDI as a dream come true! One of the key verticals where VDI is essentially a God-send is Education, where flexibility, control and tight budgets are the norm.


Students are becoming increasingly attached to their personal electronic devices. With daily screen-time estimates at between a conservative 2 hours per day and 12 hours per day, phones, tablets and laptops have become more bodily appendages than luxuries. So, how does this effect the classroom environment where students are accustomed to constant electronic stimulation and entertainment?

Engagement:
Leveraging this extreme attachment to electronic devices in the classroom is the next big step toward increased student engagement. Students depend on their personal devices to communicate with the world, and while it does nothing for their interpersonal skills, it certainly keeps them entertained. Instead of fighting a losing battle to separate students from their electronics, teachers can use VDI technology in the classroom to share material, media, or simply to regain student attention and integrate education into the personal world of today’s average student.

Technical Literacy:
Installing software requires a small amount of technical literacy but most other technical issues are beyond the skills of those who didn’t grow up with constant access to mobile devices or PCs. VDI allows for quick and comprehensive support for networking or technical issues students will certainly face at some point in their educational career with a few simple clicks from the IT support team

Teaching is not an easy job. A study by the Global Partnership for Education found that by 2030, 29 million teachers will be needed globally to meet the needs of only primary and secondary schools. 21 million teachers are projected to retire by 2030 and currently less than 75% of teachers globally are trained according to national standards. Unless you live in Luxembourg where the starting pay for teachers is around $79K, you can expect a teacher’s salary to be well below the country average and their work hours ranging from 48.2 hours per week to over 60 hours per week. Teachers need us to give them a break, literally.

Movers and Shakers:
Education is changing with the rise of BYOD and technology in the classroom. In addition to the long hours and lower than average pay, teachers are often required move from classroom to classroom and sometimes from school to school to meet the ever-changing needs of their students. An employee of an English training school in China might teach at as many as 5 different branches of the same school and could travel hundreds of kilometres every week for class! College professors often teach in classrooms at opposite ends of campus, at multiple campuses and increasingly online.  VDI allows teachers the flexibility and uniformity to work from their home computer in the morning and from their classroom computer in the afternoon and access the same desktop & information, while also making life easier for visiting professors or substitutes who can simply log into the system to see prepared lesson plans and materials.

Show and Tell:
With VDI teachers can share materials like power point or video on every classroom device quickly and easily without worries about student preferences for YouTube or Vine.

IT administrators in the education vertical have the toughest job of all with the need to cater to the technological needs of their teachers and students while also providing a safe and easy-to-use environment for all users on the network. Imagine being responsible for construction and upkeep, daily management, funding and budgeting, innovation, , security and training – and all these are tasks necessary for the upkeep of the IT department!

Controlling Danger:
Along with the many wonderful things available online are harmful things, some as benign as misinformation and some as damaging as internet predators, malware or pornography.  42.1% of children in the USA admit to having seen internet pornography and 1 in 20 children admitted to arranging a secret meeting with people they met online. With students of all ages, controlling internet access during school hours is essential. Giving K-9 students free range of the internet at school would be disruptive, frustrating and potentially dangerous while allowing high-school and college students full access to any site invites malware attacks, distractions and also poses a threat to the health and safety of all students. VDI gives access to only the essential applications and websites needed for education, leaving the students surf the web, chat and play games after school time

Centralized Management:
In lighter news, enrollment numbers are going up! In 2014 207 million students were enrolled in higher education according to a recent UNESCO study. In addition, with 72 million more children enrolled in primary school in 2015 than in 2002, the need to move large amounts of information quickly and reset for the incoming class is essential. While K-9 or smaller schools might be able to get away with fewer IT specialists, most larger schools and Universities require daily maintenance of their network and the troubleshooting requirements were daunting even before the rise of BYOD. In addition, we are all (students especially) guilty of ignoring the notifications for system updates or upgrades, especially when you are busy streaming video or writing a paper. VDI offers centralized management capable of performing updates and patches from a simple dashboard and allowing for quick clean-up and reset each year – or after each class if necessary!

Even if VDI is an answer in search of a problem, it’s likely found its niche in Education. Sangfor VDI has helped streamline the networking capabilities for numerous reputable universities and helped hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and administrators gain access and remain safe and informed as they learn. Click here for more information about Sangfor VDI.

Founded in 2000 and a publicly traded company as of 2018 (SANGFOR STOCK CODE: 300454 (CH)) Sangfor is the global leading vendor of IT infrastructure solutions specializing in Cloud Computing and Network Security. See www.sangfor.com. for more information.



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