The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and that means educators across the globe are still finding inventive and innovative ways to support and teach students in classrooms, during hybrid instruction, and in virtual settings.
Never before have educators been challenged and tested as they were, beginning in March 2020 and up until today, and never before has their resilience been more apparent. Administrators, technology leaders, classroom teachers, and educators in all roles have persevered as they taught each and every one of their students during a global pandemic.
Here, eSchool News highlights Community High School District 99–one of its K-12 Hero Awards finalists. Keep reading to discover how this district keeps learning going in the middle of a global pandemic.
Nominee: Community High School District 99
Nominated by: Cameyo
What makes this nominee a hero?
Community High School District 99 (CSD99) has a mission is to provide a caring and challenging environment where all students develop as lifelong learners. As part of that mission, it adopted a 1:1 Chromebook initiative six years ago to create and support engaged learners by increasing each student’s ability to be collaborative, reflective, and empowered.
When the pandemic hit, CSD99’s 1:1 Chromebook initiative put the district at an advantage when it came to enabling remote learning–but it quickly noticed that there was one key issue. Many courses still relied on at least one Windows application that could not be accessed on Chromebooks. And without access to the physical PC labs at each campus, those courses simply couldn’t be fully delivered.
CSD99 needed to move quickly to enable distance learning in response to the pandemic, and its previous experience with legacy Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) vendors had taught it that those technologies were not an option for rapidly enabling remote learning at scale.
Rod Russeau, Director of Technology & Information Services for CSD99, quickly sprang into action to ensure his district’s students did not have their learning interrupted.
To optimize its existing investment in Chromebooks, CSD99 is using Cameyo, a Virtual App Delivery technology, to provide students with access to a variety of Windows applications that range from typical productivity apps to more graphics-intensive applications like the AutoCAD Suite and the Adobe Creative Suite–including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom–all from their Chromebooks. Students get access to the full desktop version of the software, all from within a browser tab, with a seamless user experience that doesn’t require any change in behavior.
“The students have had such a great experience with Cameyo that many requested to maintain access so that they could continue to utilize the applications to work on their projects throughout the summer,” said Russeau.
“Cameyo has helped us ensure that–even after the pandemic–our students may continue to have access to all of their critical applications anytime and on any device,” said Russeau. “This has helped us level the playing field and makes our 1:1 Chromebook initiative even more effective by ensuring every student has uninterrupted access to their applications, without relying on a PC lab.”