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Virtual Machines Allow Kent State Trumbull Students Access Software Packages at No Cost

Posted Feb. 6, 2012

Kent State Trumbull's remote desktops provide students enrolled in a number of computer technology classes with access to and use of software packages free of charge in order to complete assignments.

Kent State University at Trumbull students enrolled in a number of computer technology classes are afforded savings on software packages, courtesy of the university’s remote desktops.

Based on research conducted by Kent State Trumbull Assistant Professor Anthony Zampino and computer lab technician Mark Natale, the university oversaw the installation of remote servers, housing a full suite of Adobe and Microsoft software, which students will be able to access remotely from anywhere in the world.

The remote desktops will provide students with access to and use of those programs free of charge in order to complete assignments.

“For example, Adobe has a 30‐day trial for their CS products,” Natale says, “Obviously classes last longer than that timeframe and would otherwise require students to purchase the software, which is well over $800 for the Masters Collection.

“By using the virtual machines, we can provide access to these programs remotely to the students at no additional cost. This allows students to focus on learning, instead of worrying about whether or not they have a computer that’s powerful enough to run the software in the first place let alone the cost.

“All they need is access to the Internet. All the workload is handled on the university’s end, by our servers. We can even allow students to setup their own servers and operating systems virtually. Basically, what this allows us to do is offer in‐class computer lab classes online and provide students with the ability to use specialized software that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.”

Additionally, students won’t have to worry about losing their homework, since the programming is housed remotely on a virtual machine. If something were to happen, such as a hard drive crash, or students were to get a virus on their personal machine, the data is kept on the campus machine with 24/7 access.

More than 200 students from more than half a dozen classes took advantage of the remote desktop in the Fall 2011 Semester.

For more information about Kent State Trumbull’s virtual machines, contact Natale at mnatale1@kent.edu.