A new school year is here. Is it time to re-evaluate your campus remote desktop solution for distance, remote, and hybrid learning?
Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end to summer and students are heading back to school. However, not everyone will be returning to the classroom setting. Many colleges and universities will continue to offer options for distance learning as well as hybrid learning environments that support both in-person and remote studies.
This level of flexibility requires campus IT departments to be nimble and to leverage technologies that will satisfy all of the use cases required by students and faculty. There is a full spectrum of ways to approach remote access — starting with a basic VPN to building out an entire hosted environment, and everything in between.
At this point, most campuses have enabled remote access at some level but not all have rolled out a program that is as robust as it could or should be. When the pandemic hit, time was of the essence and many campuses scrambled to pull together simple solutions to keep students connected to their classwork. If your college or university is at a point where it needs a full-fledged platform, now is the time to re-evaluate your options. As we enter another school year in a pandemic, it is clear that the need for a powerful remote solution is here to stay.
Taking your Campus Remote Access Solution to the Next Level
As an established provider of hosted desktops solutions, Leostream has been on the forefront of remote access for higher education. Our software has been utilized on campuses long before the pandemic started and is currently deployed at countless universities across the country and also overseas.
With over a decade of experience enabling remote access at universities, we understand the key components to a successful program. Security, scalability and ease of use are absolute musts. Moreover, special attention must be given to the “trickier” use cases, including remote computer labs and high-performance remote desktops such as those used for creative and engineering students.
If you plan to take your campus remote access solution to the next level, you’ll want to focus on technology that can scale, prioritize security/authentication, and choose software that is simple yet powerful enough for students, faculty, and IT personnel to fully reap the benefits.
Scaling Remote Access Campus-Wide
When it comes to scaling, the main challenge that we see involves handling the influx of students and volume demands. The classroom onboarding process at the beginning of each semester can become overwhelming to IT teams with limited staff and resources. Manually entering students into the system and deploying remote workstations can be a major drain on IT staff. This is why we give the option to upload class rosters through a variety of mechanisms including Active Directory, OpenLDAP™, NIS directory services, etc.
Assigning remote desktops to students in a one-to-one manner is rarely the most effective way to utilize resources, particularly for wide-scale roll outs for remote access. In many instances, we recommend building pools of desktops that can be shared amongst students. Leostream is well known for its pooling functionality which makes it possible to group desktops together based on classroom settings and curricular needs. As an enterprise-grade remote access solution, scaling large deployments is where our software excels.
Authorizing Student Access to Remote Desktops
If your campus is concerned about security while students work remotely, then you should take additional steps to prevent unauthorized users from connecting to the campus network and the confidential information or data stored on it. Security starts with authentication, and in the world of remote access, multifactor authentication (MFA) is the key to ensuring only authorized users have access to your hosted desktop environment.
Since Leostream is employed in some of the most highly secure industries like healthcare and finance, our software is designed with security in mind. Not only do we offer integrations with standard MFA providers, but we also have a unique feature that can limit access based on where the user is based (such as on campus versus off campus). IT administrators can also view audit trails and logs that track user activity and connections made by students and faculty to the remote desktops.
Simplifying Remote Access for Students and Teachers
When creating a remote classroom environment, a bad technology experience is an absolute deal breaker. Students and teachers expect to be able to log in to classroom resources in a manner that is quick and efficient. From a single Leostream login page, students and teachers can access all resources they need, no matter where those resources reside or what operating system they run, and that login page can be customized with university logos and colors to provide a streamlined access point.
When it comes to the desktop connection, clunky interfaces or VPN setups that are too complicated or overtaxed by volume are not the answer. Included in our platform is a web-based gateway for browser-based connections to remote desktops.
Is it time to re-evaluate your campus’ remote access solution?
If your campus is using VPNs or your current remote access program is missing the mark it may be time for an upgrade. Whether you need to provide remote access to the entire study body or just a few campus labs, Leostream can help. Contact us to tailor a solution for your institution.