Virtualization | News

British School Brings Desktop Apps to Students' Mobile Devices

Futures Community College, a secondary school in the United Kingdom, has implemented new technology to accelerate BYOD adoption on its campus by providing access to desktop applications via students' mobile browsers.

Five years ago, the government started pushing for wider use of IT in education, but Futures Community College lacked funds to replace its 600 aging, low-performance PCs. "We needed a stable and uniform platform for providing access to Windows applications, desktops, and services for teachers and pupils," said David Nettleship, network manager at the school, in a prepared statement.

The school initially implemented Ericom's PowerTerm WebConnect RemoteView solution, which accelerated the performance of its old PCs. According to Ericom, PowerTerm WebConnect RemoteView provides secure, centrally managed access to Windows applications and desktops hosted on Microsoft Remote Desktop Services or virtual desktop platforms.

Later, as more students and teachers were bringing their personal devices on campus, the school made the decision to implement PowerTerm WebConnect's zero-client option, AccessNow.

AccessNow provides browser-based access to Windows applications and virtual desktops from any device using an HTML5-compatible Web browser, including iPads, Android tablets, and laptops. It runs entirely within the browser and doesn't require any software to be installed on the end-user's device. HTML5-compatible Web browsers include current versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.

With AccessNow, teachers and students at the school can now use their personal devices for coursework and lesson planning. "This is crucial as we predict that the number of their pupil or teacher-owned devices may increase by as much as 50 percent over the next three years," said Nettleship.

Futures Community College is a secondary school located east of London, England. It serves more than 600 students aged 11 to 19.

Further information about PowerTerm WebConnect and AccessNow is available on the Ericom site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].