Deploying lab software to students across campus at George Brown College
As one of Toronto's largest educational institutions, George Brown College is at the forefront of using EdTech to improve their students' experience. And software delivery at the college is no exception.
Watch our video and see how the IT department are using AppsAnywhere and application virtualization to make lab apps (previously only available at set times in set places) available to students across their three campuses, whilst improving organisational IT efficiency and reducing image size.
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Deploying lab apps anywhere using application virtualization at George Brown College - Video Transcription
We are a large college in Toronto, Ontario. We have approximately 28,000 students and we have a full spectrum of courses and studies. They range from health science, right into construction and engineering technologies, so we have the full spectrum. The problem we had before Software2 was two-fold. Number one was that we felt that we were limiting our students’ ability to learn. They had to go to specific physical labs to use software for their courses. The second problem was regarding improving internal efficiency to deploy software.
Our image before Software2 was around 40GB and it had all the programme specific apps loaded in them. It took around 2 hours to image one machine.
Software2 has two huge benefits. Number one, it allows our students the ability to use their software any place, any time, so we’re essentially liberating the students from the physical labs and physical timeslots, big huge benefit. The second benefit is internal efficiency; our team could deliver applications through Software2 quicker faster than our previous methods.
It took us a day to get the service up and running. In about 4 hours we had the entire environment up and running and ready. We only had the Cloudpaging Player and operating system and Microsoft Word on it, which reduced the size to 10GB and because of that it significantly reduced the time it took to deploy the image out to all the desktops in the classrooms. Students can work on their courses out of the lab and at the convenience of their own homes.
The main challenge in delivering apps in higher education is change itself. This is a very valuable change. It was more of an organizational/people change versus a technical change. The three words I would use to describe Software2, the organization and the product, are: valuable, affordable, and professional.
The three words used to describe AppsAnywhere are timesaving, ease of use and reliability.
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