Blog

Learn Without Limits

By Harold Bell

Technology has truly transformed the way we live in almost every capacity. Whether it be processors in the 1970’s or artificial intelligence in our current time. Ride-sharing services from companies like Uber and Lyft have disrupted transportation and forced traditional taxi and limousine services to go digital in order to stay competitive. Companies like Airbnb have empowered homeowners to capitalize on their excess square footage, causing hotels to reinvent themselves. We’ve also experienced major disruption in the financial services industry. Cash transfer apps like Venmo, coupled with the emergence of cryptocurrency, have challenged incumbent institutions. But one institution overdue for this level of change is one we’ve all had a direct experience with – education. Technology in schools is definitely behind schedule when compared to other institutions in our society.

Computers obviously play a major part in delivering the school curriculum in modern classrooms of today. Across the nation, many schools now offer device access to each classroom, and in certain instances, to every individual student.

However, due to budgeting practices and fund availability varying by state, we don’t have complete coverage for students in every school. Nor do we have a consistent experience for schools without technology programs, as some schools upgrade less frequently than others. Classrooms have also been unable to keep up with the device proliferation that we’ve experienced within the last decade. With the emergence of BYOD, Chromebooks, and multi-device classrooms, it has been difficult to standardize the learning experience for students since their IT departments aren’t equipped for the many technical complexities.


Typically, a small IT staff, often consisting of two or three people, is responsible for a large number of students; districts as large as 10K students, with a comparable ratio in colleges. This creates the need for a simple solution that can provide a standardized experience for remote and local students. This is where Desktop as a Service comes in: DaaS helps IT departments in the education space scale quickly to address their large service base, regardless of their level of expertise in desktop virtualization.

When it comes to desktop virtualization, there are two options in the education space: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or DaaS. Traditional on-premises VDI is complex, and often overwhelming for K-12/junior college IT teams. Capacity goes unused during the summer, holidays, and semester breaks. Further, software issues, hardware failure, and any other unexpected problems have to be handled in-house, which can be stressful and expensive depending on the available internal resources.

On the contrary, DaaS offers an on-demand, pay-as-you-go model that is easier for schools to consume, both in terms of IT resources required and budget. As opposed to VDI, the entire solution management and maintenance can be outsourced to an experienced partner in VDI, leaving IT team and school decision makers to focus on their use cases. The provider manages all rackspace, maintenance, and hardware. This configuration is highly preferred with schools. According to TechRepublic, “when school systems opt for DaaS as opposed to VDI, educators are empowered to offer student computing in labs easily, as well as follow-along training tools. Administrators can provide workstations to temp workers without hardware setup. Plus, any system administrator can easily test hardware and software profiles.”


Our recommendation for a DaaS solution that resolves education-specific technology challenges: Nutanix Xi Frame for Education. Frame is a solution that offers standardization across all device types, normalizes the BYOD experience, and eliminates the need to support each device type. Alternatively, the browser is optimized such that students can access their Windows applications and their cloud storage services seamlessly. Now with Frame on AHV, you can deploy on-prem via physical campus resources or cloud-based applications that leverage public cloud infrastructure.

In conclusion, technology is simply a tool. It is becoming more social, adaptive, and customized, and as a result, it can be a fantastic teaching tool. And while technology is now ubiquitous in most communities, there's a hierarchy in how it's used for learning. Frame simplifies that hierarchy, making it easier for kids to learn and IT teams to manage desktops and apps. You can learn more about the impact of desktop-as-a-service and Frame in schools by downloading our latest ebook How to Centralize IT & Apps for Educators and Students.

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