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Making software apps more accessible for students at Georgian College

With the key strategic IT goals of improving software accessibility, massively slashing lead times on provision of new software mid-semester and enabling BYOD, Georgian needed a robust, uncompromising and adaptable solution.

Georgian College, ON opened contact with Software2 three years ago for a proof-of-concept on our product and service, AppsAnywhere. Since then, neither Georgian or Software2 have looked back! Watch the video below to hear first hand from Georgian College how AppsAnywhere has helped to add value to their IT offering and digital student experience.


Since implementing AppsAnywhere we've become much more fluid in our ability to offer software to students mid-semester. When a faculty member finds a piece of software that would be great for an upcoming lecture, we can make it available to them within a week or two as opposed to previously our imaging required that we reimage computers or wait until the end of the semester.

Sarah Triskle, System Administrator, Georgian College, ON.



AppsAnywhere has been critical in advancing our BYOD program. We would not have been able to do it without AppsAnywhere. We need students to be able to bring their own device. Access from wherever they are. We have campuses that range hours away from where we are, and we need the students at those campuses to access the same tools that they have here at our Barrie campus.

Lynne Wood, Director of IT, Georgian College, ON.


Transcript

When we first introduced the software2 we looked at it with a lens of “Okay, what's wrong with this product because it really does sound like it's too good to be true.” Almost three years later we're still looking for it and haven't found it.

Georgian College is a community college in Ontario. We're a college of applied arts and technology. We have about 11,000 plus students at seven different campus locations. We have over 140 different programs that students can register into, so we're a very complex environment. We're focusing a lot on Cloud so that we can reduce our overhead and expenses. There's a lot of things that we need to do as far as technology, and it's moving rapidly. We're looking for tools that will help us to bring the college into the future to make software more accessible to students, to make technology more accessible, and ensuring we have a secure environment and to make it seamless.

We needed to look for something different because every semester there's more software that the faculty were requesting. More restrictions on where that software could be used based on the number of licensing that we had. We needed to find something that would give us an edge over big thick images with more and more applications.

Student expectations are that they get the software they need when they need it. They don't have regular schedules. They're not nine to five. They're up at all hours. They have jobs. We have a lot of students who have families, so they need to be able to access those tools at home. We also have weather challenges, so the campus can be closed, or it can be difficult to get to.

The challenges faced by students were that some software titles were only available in specific labs based on the number of licenses we had available or at specific campus locations, so a student who was coming to the Barrie campus might not be able to access the same software that they needed if they were up in the Orillia campus for whatever reason.

We went right in with AppsAnywhere. We decided that it was critical for our students, and it worked out great for student experience and access to the software they need, when they need it. That's number one. From a college perspective, it also allows us to maximize the use of our space, and the flexibility in our classroom and our labs is bar none now, so none of those barriers or restrictions that were there before AppsAnywhere in scheduling space and maximizing resources are there anymore.

Since implementing AppsAnywhere we've become much more fluid in our ability to offer software to students mid-semester. When a faculty member finds a piece of software that would be great for an upcoming lecture, we can make it available to them within a week or two as opposed to previously our imaging required that we reimage computers or wait until the end of the semester.

AppsAnywhere has been critical in advancing our BYOD program. We would not have been able to do it without AppsAnywhere. We need students to be able to bring their own device. Access from wherever they are. We have campuses that range hours away from where we are, and we need the students at those campuses to access the same tools that they have here at our Barrie campus.

My advice to other IT departments would be to check out the product and try to find a flaw with it. I would be surprised if anyone actually was able to find something that didn't work for them. We haven't come across it yet.