Maine Township High SD Virtualizes Windows
Maine Township High School District in Chicago is using virtualization to give teachers access to a consistent desktop environment from any device.
district has been using Google Apps for Education in the classroom for
several years, and in the 2013-14 school year, it began issuing
Chromebook devices to students as part of a 1-to-1 initiative. Students
could use their Chromebooks to access e-textbooks, submit homework
electronically using Google Docs and access other online educational
resources from anywhere with an Internet connection. However, teachers
still needed access to Windows desktops to run some Windows-based
The district's IT staff spent three months
collaborating with Google experts to create a cloud-based virtual
desktop infrastructure. The district now uses Citrix XenDesktop and NetScaler to provide teachers with access to Windows desktops and applications
from any device. The virtual desktop infrastructure has reduced the
amount of time district IT staff spend supporting desktop machines.
Instead, they can focus more time working directly with students and
teachers to improve their computer skills, and teachers can access a
consistent desktop environment regardless of which type of device or
browser they are using.
"The new Citrix-enabled environment
provides teachers with easy access," said Jonathan Urbanski, network
manager for Maine Township, in a prepared statement. "Teachers need to
be able to expect classroom technology to work just as easily as
writing on a chalkboard does. By making the technology environment more
reliable, we free up people to create and innovate."
information from Citrix, the combination of Citrix XenDesktop and
NetScaler with Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education has created "a
dramatically more efficient school day" for the district's 6,500
students and 700 teachers.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].