Preserving creative instruction during the pandemic:
Before the pandemic, it was not uncommon to find students staying in the computer labs until closing time. Applications like Photoshop, After Effects, and Premier Pro require capable computers to manipulate and render the pixels–something students generally don’t have at home.
When the government instituted lockdowns and home quarantines to contain the spread of COVID19, schools were closed while students stayed home. These events essentially stopped students from continuing their art and video projects. How can students use the resources if they can’t physically be in the buildings?
Before the pandemic, Asia Pacific College ran computer laboratories with specific software licenses on a time-shared use basis. The allocation was one computer per student in each class. The specifications of these computers would depend on the instructed disciplines. Computing laboratories were built to match resources to needs, so idle computing power was not wasted.
Once the pandemic hit, virtual desktops seemed ideal, but existing cloud solutions capable of the workload came with premium pricing–easily exceeding the school’s budget. Creative content requires vast amounts of time and effort. Video projects require rendering, a process that soaks up computing resources despite being a mostly unattended process.
Asia Pacific College (APC) signed up with various cloud-based resources for its computer laboratory requirements. APC established partnerships with companies that provided access to their software and partnered with Microsoft Azure for generic cloud-based desktops to handle everyday computing tasks.
For graphic-intensive deployments, an unmetered desktop virtualization solution was required to accommodate the students’ needs for more access than the restricted access previously administered. Acer Veriton computers were set up with access managed by VERDE VDI Remote Access. Students can work directly on those computers remotely from home computers or thin clients without time usage limitations.
Verde VDI Remote Access allows for more hands-on time by the students without being restricted by metered usage. Repurposing existing computers and adding new systems where needed made the system affordable and fast to implement. Most importantly, adoption by the students and administrators was easy and seamless.
VERDE VDI Remote Access architecture: