A virtualized desktop is an operating system and application software that run on a remote server and can be delivered in real time to a local computing device such as a laptop anywhere an Internet connection is available. Desktop virtualization provides an experience virtually identical to that of software running locally but with the benefits of control, access, and security afforded by a centralized system. Rather than maintaining software on every user device, IT departments can focus on the servers and virtualization software. Desktop virtualization increases flexibility for providing specialized software, and wider access to sophisticated software opens opportunities and capacities of students to produce different and potentially better work.
The 7 Things You Should Know About... series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the 7 Things briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page