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We’re currently seeking options for a BYOD initiative to allow students to access college-license software. We investigated this a few years back and ran into a budgetary hurdle with the cost of licensing (specifically Windows and Office). We’re approaching our our budgetary planning months and the question has come up again, so I was wondering if some other institutions might be willing to share their experiences with me.

Do you have a BYOD initiative for students?
If you do, what solutions do you have in place? (We initially envisioned using VMware View to make virtual desktops available to students, but we’re open to alternatives)
Other than software licensing, are there any major hurdles that you encountered?
Are you satisfied with how your solution performs?
Is it getting the level of utilization that you expected?

Thank you for your time,
Branden

-- 
Branden Ohlinger
Technical Support and Developer
Albright College IT Services
Email: bohlinger@alb.edu
Phone: 610-921-7223

Comments

We are BYOD, though I wouldn't call it an initiative.
We run an application server with 100 simultaneous licenses available. Students connect using RDC and run applications remotely.
It is mostly used by Macs who cannot run some required Windows apps and don't want to install Windows on their Mac.
The solution performs better now that we went from 60-100 licenses. You have to scale it to your population. We are a small school.
Some students don't like the fact that they have to be online to run some applications, but they could always choose to buy a Windows machine and buy the software.
It has been very helpful when students show up to school with Chromebooks and Android tablets and can't install anything, much to their surprise!

Suzanne Gaynor
Director, Technology Resource Center
Hartwick College
607-431-4670


  • We do NOT have a BYOD initiative, though I'd say 95% of our students do have their own machines (if not more). 
  • We have set up a few (virtualized) terminal servers with specialized packages on them, so students can use Remote Desktop or CoRD to access the software, which works for almost all our software packages.
  • Problems:
    • One of the larger problems we have is that students leave the virtual session running (they close the window as opposed to logging out).
    • Some students have complained of connectivity issues when an entire class tries to connect to one access point.
    • One software package has licensing which does not allow for installation on a server.
    • Space on the virtual server can fill up quickly with auto-updating packages and data sets.
  • We are reasonably satisfied with it.
  • We've got it set up primarily as a class resource, though we've found that people in the class like it so much, they continue to use it after the class is through. If this were abused, we could set up a group policy to disallow this.
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