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AppStream 2.0 and Chromebooks Bring Digital Equity to K12 Classrooms

With the availability of Wi-Fi and Chromebooks in the classroom, students are better positioned than ever before to take advantage of digital learning tools. However, Chromebooks don’t easily support demanding software, such as CAD/CAM and other tools needed for Science Technology Education and Math (STEM) classes. So while a classroom may have ubiquitous access to the internet, teachers who require more robust desktop applications and software still find themselves reserving time in school computer labs.

Enter Amazon AppStream 2.0.

AppStream 2.0 is a fully managed, secure application streaming service that enables you to stream desktop applications to any computer running a web browser. For school districts with 1:1 Chromebook implementations, this means students have equitable access to learning resources and applications not previously accessible.

Here is how two school districts, Carlsbad Unified School District and Peninsula School District, are leveraging AppStream 2.0 to allow students to run desktop applications on any device, inside or outside of the classroom.

Carlsbad Unified School District

Carlsbad Unified School District’s technology goal is to empower students and staff to access all of their content and services any time, any place, on any device.

By using AppStream 2.0 to stream Adobe Creative Suite applications to student Chromebooks and personal devices, students who miss their regularly scheduled computer lab time are able to make up the work after school or on the weekends. Students can even use AppStream 2.0 in their other classes if they have extra time to spare.

“We’ve made rapid progress towards this goal in recent years, migrating old on-premises services to the cloud, strengthening our internal network infrastructure, and working with outside entities to ensure students have internet access at home,” said Joseph Hartman, Director of Assessment and Technology, Carlsbad Unified School District.

One program that lagged behind in this goal, however, was the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, mainly because the software used in CTE classes is resource-intensive and license-restricted. AppStream 2.0 provided a solution for these students by enabling them to access the same desktop software used in their CTE computer labs from any device they had available to them, no matter when or where they wanted to work.

“The most positive impact has been the way it has empowered students at all academic levels. Students who had fallen behind in class used to have few options for making up the work they had missed. Similarly, students who were passionate about a specific assignment had little freedom to push boundaries and spend extra hours on their projects. With AppStream 2.0, both types of students are now free from the constraints of class periods and computer labs and can achieve at the level most appropriate for their specific circumstances,” said Joseph.

Peninsula School District

Another school district that relies on AppStream 2.0 so students can use the technology at home, granting unlimited exposure to industry standard tools, is the Peninsula School District.

The Peninsula School District, located in Gig Harbor, Washington, has a vision that every student will graduate from the district, capable and able to take advantage of any life opportunity that might come their way.

The district is utilizing AppStream 2.0 in a classroom for Adobe CC video and image editing using Chromebooks.

“AppStream 2.0 may very well be the final missing piece in education’s 1:1 Chromebook deployment model puzzle,” said Brandon Martin, Data Integration Analyst, Peninsula School District. “AppStream 2.0 is much quicker than moving an entire classroom to a lab, and performance from the service is on par or better than existing equipment in the labs. With the addition of SAML and integration with existing AWS infrastructure, AppStream 2.0 simply made sense.”

AppStream 2.0 recently reduced its Microsoft RDS SAL user fee 89% for qualified educational users to make it easier for you to bring AppStream 2.0 to your school district so students can use Macs, Chromebooks, and other computers to instantly access applications like Adobe Photoshop, MATLAB, CES EduPack, ANSYS FLUENT, and SOLIDWORKS from any location inside and outside of the classroom.