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A guide to remote learning technology in higher education

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Over the last year, higher education has changed and evolved in a huge way. Those changes have resulted in a huge increase in demand for remote classrooms, online learning, distance learning, and virtual instruction over in-person education. But, to successfully implement online learning facilities, the right technology needs to be put in place by both schools, universities and any other education institutions.

We’ve taken a closer look at what distance learning and a remote learning environment means for the future of remote learning, and the technology that organizations can put in place to embrace those changes.

What is remote learning, and why has it become more prominent?

Woman studying for exams

Online learning or remote learning is a form of education where the teacher and student don’t need to be present in the same location or in the classroom to facilitate education. While once a relatively underutilized technique, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns led to universities worldwide having to implement hybrid learning or remote education immediately. Online education allows students to learn at their own pace, at any time, while accessing the teaching and resources they need to complete their courses.

With more students than ever learning through laptops or tablets at home, organizations must meet this change in demand and provide the same quality of education. While many universities may start to see a return to campus in some ways, there’s no doubt that remote education in some form is here to stay, especially in higher education. This means there is a vast need for educational technology that can keep up with the demands of remote students and teachers.

What technology is available to facilitate remote learning?

For distance learning to be successful over the long-term, without interrupting student’s continuity of education, higher education organizations need to focus on the types of education technology they utilize. Implementing the right tools and techniques can support students from all walks of life to gain the education they want and receive the resources they require to succeed, without having to be physically present in the classroom for in-person teaching.

While virtual learning facilities, virtual education and education technology have all improved in recent years, higher education organizations should be on the look out for long-term solutions that will continue to offer students the best service and be cost-effective. Deploying the latest and most effective remote learning technology will provide students with the educational resources and online teaching needed to achieve the best outcomes possible.

Some of the latest remote learning solutions and education technology include:

Virtual Labs

Woman studying in computer class

Virtual labs offer the perfect solution for higher education organizations looking to offer students with access to university-owned software and resources. When access to campus labs is difficult or social distancing is in place in campus labs or the classroom, virtual labs offer a flexible and effective way to access resources, deliver on-demand learning and allow consistent quality. In addition, virtual labs can be accessed by large numbers of students at once, unlike campus labs which have a limited number of devices.

Virtual labs are a powerful alternative to more traditional Virtual Desktop Infrastrcuture (VDI) solutions. With no expensive up-front setup costs, it’s possible to provide students and their teacher with everything they need in one accessible location without racking up the considerable time and monetary costs associated with ‘owned’ software.

Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

When students are studying remotely and when it comes to online and blended learning, access to resources can be a serious issue. Without the ability to reach resources on campus, students miss out on otherwise valuable educational tools.

Remote Desktop Services (RDS) or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) allows users to connect to an operating system or ‘virtual machine’ remotely whilst sharing both the applications and software associated with this. This remote desktop can then be accessed from any device, any time.

An RDS solution provides all students with unlimited access to the tools they need to learn and succeed. In addition, with no need for on-campus accessibility, it’s far easier for students to learn independently and expand upon what they’ve studied in class to further their knowledge.

Read our guide to find out more about what RDS is and the solution it can offer within higher education.

Application Virtualization

Some of the critical priorities for student’s remote learning include access to apps and resources whenever necessary. Many educational institutions struggle to meet the demand for access to software through their currently implemented technology.

AppsAnywhere is an application virtualization technology that provides a powerful and effective alternative to VDI-style technology, allowing students consistent and high-quality access to precisely what they need, when they need it.

The benefits of application virtualization include:

  • Students have free access to apps and resources from anywhere, at any time, with no limits
  • No need to install software on devices
  • Software is available regardless of the device being used
  • Functionality helps to level the playing field and ensures all remote learners can access the same level of education whenever and wherever they need to

AppsAnywhere also solves a significant issue in VDI: sprawl. Instead of relying on clunky navigation, students can access everything in one single location from an intuitive and easy to use interface. This ensures an easier student learning experience and works perfectly with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and similar IT initiatives. In addition, instead of a high up-front cost, AppsAnywhere works on demand. This means that organizatiions do not havew to invest large amounts of time or money in setup or significant periods of downtime for care and management.

AppsAnywhere and higher education are an excellent fit. For independent student learning, providing constant and high-quality access to knowledge and resources beyond Zoom calls can make a huge different. By removing limits on education, students can get their work done anywhere, at any time, with no issue accessing precisely what they need to learn.

BYOD

BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, has become increasingly popular in the world of higher education. By allowing students to use their own devices, consistent and high-quality access is far easier to achieve. With remote learning proving the need for flexibility on and off campus, BYOD provides the perfect solution. It helps to provide access to all necessary apps and resources, without the need for proximity.

To reduce costs while providing students with extensive resources and learning experiences, BYOD is already a common initiative in higher education. A key issue is that current VDI and similar technologies are not built to mee the demand. In contrast, AppsAnywhere is perfectly talored to suit BYOD policies. With accessibility from practically any device with virtualization, the limits of conventional remote educational software can be a thing of the past.

Are you interested in AppsAnywhere? Get in touch with our team today to discuss how we might be the ideal fit for your higher education facility. If you want to enhance remote learning for students with powerful technology that makes student IT better than ever, we're the best choice for you. Contact us now to find out more.