IOWA CITY — Iowa City Schools, known for staying ahead of the curve with innovative curriculum tools, leveraged itopia and Google Cloud to implement a more scalable, resilient, and easy-to-manage system for delivering educational applications to thousands of students. This decision paid off in more ways than one, as the cloud deployment of the itopia solution helped the district quickly adapt to virtual education when the COVID-19 pandemic struck only months later. With itopia, students can launch graphically intensive Windows apps like AutoCAD and Adobe Creative Cloud from their Chromebooks, no matter their location.
“Every school deserves a modern, streamlined solution for delivering high-touch learning experiences to its students – regardless of whether those students learn at school, at home, at the library, or beyond. As a parent, it’s reassuring to see institutions like the Iowa City Community School District holding this idea in high regard,” said itopia CEO and Co-Founder Jonathan Lieberman.
The district had previously used another tool to deliver virtual applications to secondary students but ran into issues related to delivery reliability, low performance, and costly upgrade requirements to maintain server infrastructure. The district’s IT leadership decided to embark on replacing this legacy system with a cloud-native solution that would simplify management and slash costs, while also allowing for flexible scalability in case of unpredictable events. Adam Kurth, the district’s director of Technology and Innovation, consulted with trusted experts at Google Cloud who suggested that itopia’s Cloud Automation Stack met these criteria. After Mr. Kurth comparatively evaluated itopia and alternatives based on performance, scalability, ease of management, and cost efficiency, it was clear that itopia would be the most effective solution.
A few months later, the itopia solution helped the district’s students adapt to virtual learning rapidly when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. While countless schools sought out solutions that would enable the virtual delivery of Windows apps to remote students, the Iowa City Community School District already had the best solution in place, and had the ability to rapidly scale up cloud resources with itopia to accommodate its increase of remote students. The district was able to quickly transition to a fully virtual distance learning format, improving students’ experiences and eliminating downtime.
As some students opt to return to learning on campus as allowed, and others decide to exclusively learn from home, Mr. Kurth said, “itopia has been tremendously helpful to us in terms of being able to provide students what they need, regardless of what our learning mode is.”
In addition to praising the itopia professional services team’s responsiveness, the IT veteran noted the platform’s ease of use and automation capabilities.
“Learning environments in 2020 have faced a host of challenges unlike any we’ve previously experienced,” said Kevin Kells, Global Director, Education at Google Cloud. “We’re proud that, in partnership with itopia, the Iowa City Community schools were able to leverage Google Cloud and Chromebooks to power learning environments that support the unique needs of teachers and students alike.”
As enterprises seek to simplify their digital transformation, itopia automates and orchestrates infrastructure on Google Cloud, enabling enterprises to shed IT burdens and focus on what they do best. itopia’s core offerings include accelerating VDI workload migration to cloud-native Desktop as a Service (DaaS), eliminating costly & complex infrastructure overhead from vendors like Citrix or VMware, and providing a unified, end-to-end lifecycle management console for securely delivering Windows virtual desktops & apps to global, distributed workforces.
About the Iowa City Community School District
The Iowa City Community School District serves more than 14,000 students, spans approximately 133 square miles, and comprises more than 40 schools. It is the fifth-largest school district in the state of Iowa. The mission of the Iowa City Community School District is to ensure all students become responsible, independent learners capable of making informed decisions in a democratic society as well as in the dynamic global community.