An Additional Method to Provide Software to Remote Students
Pandemic-imposed restrictions on computer lab access burdens students; they are not normally required to maintain software packages on personal devices. This spring, we provided students in some classes with specialized software via AWS AppStream 2.0. Simply put, AppStream is a cloud service that permits users to run software that they are unable to install on their own compute devices.
Students experiencing any of the following may benefit from AppStream:
- The required software cost is prohibitive.
- They work on a shared, borrowed, or leased computer, without admin access.
- They migrate between devices or wait for access to a shared device.
- They work on a public library or employer’s computer.
- They do not have sufficient compute or memory capacity.
- They are on an unsupported (obsolete) or incompatible operating system.
- Because of ongoing pandemic precautions, distance, family, or medical concerns, they are unable to make use of library or computer lab devices.
Using AppStream, we can provide “fleets” of virtual machines to deliver software applications. Students use their ETSU credentials to connect a local device (tablet, laptop, or computer) to a machine in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. The virtual desktop and software appear in real time (streamed) on the student’s device. With an internet connection, the student experience is akin to having a local copy of the software, even on a low cost device.
Faculty may request assistance with AppStream 2.0 by contacting ITS Research Computing Services or the ITS Help Desk (email@example.com, 423-439-4648). Students may directly request an AppStream device by clicking the link found on the top right side of this page.