This is part three of a set of articles on Windows 8 deployment in education. To start at the beginning, take a look at  “Windows 8 in Education: Deployment Planning Guide” and “Windows 8 in Education: Windows Store apps and deployment”.

One of the challenges for educational institutions is managing the wide diversity of devices and user types. Given such diversity, establishing and maintaining a standardised technology learning platform can be difficult. Let’s face it, even with your own institution-owned devices, it may be possible to purchase some new devices running the Windows 8 operating system or upgrade existing devices to Windows 8, whilst other institution-owned devices may be unable to run Windows 8 (such as older hardware, or devices running Apple iOS or Google Android).

Add in the complexity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives, which are increasing in popularity and it can get super-complex.  BYOD initiatives allow students and/or staff to use their devices in and out of the classroom. Whilst BYOD initiatives help institutions by reducing the up-front cost of devices, they can also complicate the technology management for IT staff, and classroom management for teaching staff.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure on Windows Server 2012 can remotely run Windows apps as though they are running on the user’s device – including audio, video, graphically-intensive apps – and giving them access to their own connected devices – such as USB connected scanners or memory sticks.

Microsoft Deployment Guides for VDI in Education

VDI for personally-owned devices whitepaper - front coverVDI for institution-owned devices whitepaper - front cover 
To help you with your planning, and to understand the options, we’ve produced two Windows 8 Deployment Guides for Education: