Shelton PS Turns to Virtualization To Deliver Google, Windows-Based Apps

Shelton Public Schools in Connecticut has implemented Google Chromebox computers and 600 Chromebooks so staff and students can access Google Apps for Education and Windows-based applications through a virtual desktop interface.

The district uses Citrix XenApp technology to provide staff and students with access to district computing resources from desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones whether they are at home or at school. Users can log onto Citrix XenApp from any device and then access the district's Windows applications in a virtual desktop environment.

By using virtual desktop infrastructure, Shelton Public Schools has saved "two million dollars in technology costs over the past 10 years, and will continue to save $120,000 a year in capital investments," according to a news release from Citrix. The district collaborated with Gotham Technology Group to upgrade the district's computer equipment. Rather than purchasing $500 desktop computers for classrooms, they purchased Google Chromebox computers that mount on the back of a monitor and cost less than $200 each. And rather than purchasing $1,000 laptops, they purchased 600 Chromebooks, which cost approximately $200 each. The district also continues to use older desktop computers to access the latest Windows applications through Citrix XenApp.

"Although we can't replace equipment as quickly as we want to, we can use Citrix to help lengthen the lifespan of the equipment, simply by really using the older devices as a vehicle with Citrix to provide the latest Windows-based desktop for them," said Daniel DiVito, director of technology for Shelton Public Schools, in a prepared statement.

Students can now use computers or mobile devices to access online learning resources from home or school, and teachers plan lessons, mark assignments and tests and collaborate with colleagues from home in the evenings and on weekends, rather than putting in long hours at school.

About the Author

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