How Higher Education Can Securely Support Remote Learning Using Their Existing IT Infrastructure
Using Teradici Cloud Access Software enabled by PCoIP, colleges and universities can support large-scale remote learning without costly hardware upgrades or VPNs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled colleges and universities to serve far more remotely-located students than ever before. This rapid pivot has severely strained their IT infrastructures, which were never designed to serve a large ‘remote student body’ reliably and securely.
Adapting IT infrastructures in the usual way to address this problem would involve massive expenditures on computer/network equipment, while providing sufficient cybersecurity would require the wide-scale deployment of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) at even more cost. But there is an innovative yet highly economical way for higher education institutions to address these problems using their existing technology – and it is available right now.
The solution is Teradici’s Cloud Access Software powered PC over IP (PCoIP). It is so efficient at resolving the above problems affordably that Industrial Light & Motion (ILM) has used Teradici PCoIP to produce special effects globally for the Star Wars movies.
Moving Pixels, Not Data
The reason PCoIP is the right distance learning solution is because the platform transmits encrypted pixels to its remote users, rather than full data streams.
Since sending pixels to remote learners consumes extremely little bandwidth, the college’s existing IT infrastructure and network connections can support many more simultaneous users than before. Meanwhile, the drastically reduced bandwidth required means that rural networks that struggle to support conventional distance learning can handle PCoIP traffic with ease.
For remote users learning at home, the real-time experience of using PCoIP is identical to conventional two-way online sessions. This is because the Teradici cloud platform that underlies this PCoIP architecture allows remote users to communicate with the college over the internet, just as they have always done. The difference is the remote users’ input comes through a separate secure channel that does not feed directly into the college’s servers. This keeps the incoming traffic for these classes entirely hacker-free, because there is no way for intruders to penetrate the network.
Two White Papers That Help Higher Education Adopt PCoIP
To make it easy for college and university IT departments to quickly grasp the concept of PCoIP and how it can solve their remote learning challenges without major upgrades, Teradici is providing free access to two of its corporate white papers.
The first white paper, 'Configuring high-performance workstation access for remote learning' explains how virtualized desktop solutions using Teradici PCoIP can deliver distance learning safely and efficiently using a college/university's existing IT infrastructure and without having to deploy a VPN. This white paper details the PCoIP platform and Teradici Cloud Access Software, with a specific focus on how both can help higher education. It also delves into the major considerations associated with successfully virtualized teaching environments, and provides links to PCoIP case studies involving ILM, DNEG, and Jellyfish Pictures.
'Accelerate Classroom Innovation and Security' explains how virtualized web-based educations supported by PCoIP addresses a wide range of remote uses such as exam delivery, learning labs, admin/faculty needs, and distance education course delivery. This white paper also looks at key trends and initiatives driving change in educational IT resources, including the move to the cloud, STEM programs, and equitable access to technology and devices across society. As well, tangible solutions for supporting remotely-served exams, learning labs, and administration/faculty requirements are provided.
That’s not all: 'Accelerate Classroom Innovation and Security’ tackles key challenges being faced in today’s teaching/training environments. They include the cybersecure delivery and protection of intellectual property between institutions and their remote students, managing the cost of hardware refreshes and other ongoing upgrades, and the human resources expenditures associated with operating IT infrastructures.
Remote Learning is Here To Stay
The pandemic has had an extremely disruptive impact on higher education, and no one can say when life will ‘get back to normal’. But even then, many students may opt to remain remote learners, reasoning that the extra costs of living on campus are no longer required to get their degrees. Meanwhile, other students living far from the college/university of their choice may now be able to attend precisely because remote learning has become a truly viable option.
What this means to higher education is that remote learning is here to stay.
The good news is there are many affordable options open to colleges and universities to support virtualized remote learning using PCoIP now and into the future. These options include connecting remote students to existing desktops/servers at the school, or moving them to virtualized machines that exist as software applications within the institution’s own data center or the cloud. Better yet, colleges and universities can combine two or more of these PCoIP-supported options in line with their particular IT resources and needs.
Whatever the future brings, Teradici Cloud Access Software powered by PCoIP provides higher education with an effective, affordable way to cope with the current crisis and whatever happens afterwards.
To learn more, download the two white papers listed above, and also visit teradici.com.