MIAMI — Today, itopia, a leader in cloud automation and orchestration, announced the successful deployment of virtual Windows Labs for Anoka-Hennepin School District on Google Cloud. This new solution allows students to access curriculum-critical applications like Adobe Creative Cloud and SolidWorks from their Chromebooks, no longer tied down to stationary Windows labs on-site. itopia’s solution was the catalyst that enabled the school district to adopt a 1-to-1 Chromebook initiative, empowering students to learn from school and at home with the same lightweight device.
At the beginning of March 2020, Anoka-Hennepin School District was faced with a difficult scenario. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the schools within the district were forced to close their physical locations and adopt a distance learning model. As schools typically rely on on-premises Windows labs for technology classes, the district had to rethink their strategy for delivering computer-based coursework to their students. The solution was to leverage itopia to virtualize their design and engineering applications and host them on Google Cloud. With Google Cloud’s high-speed network accessible from anywhere, students were able to readily launch their projects from the browser of their school-issued Chromebooks.
“Even now that students are back in the classroom learning in person, we are still seeing a great return on investment with itopia,” said Joel VerDuin, Chief Technology Officer at Anoka-Hennepin School District. “The solution has allowed us to take pressure off of our aging Windows infrastructure and spend resources helping students learn valuable technical and creative skills.”
“Empowering K-12 districts to modernize their Windows infrastructure is a core principle of itopia,” said James Riley, VP of Sales at itopia. “By pairing itopia with Chromebooks, Anoka-Hennepin is truly at the forefront of innovation for how students learn and create in the cloud.”
The successful deployment of itopia’s virtual labs for Anoka-Hennepin School District comes as part of a larger wave of K-12 institutions embracing the Google ecosystem for improving education. itopia’s ‘Learn from Anywhere’ initiative represents a paradigm shift for how technology, art, and career & technical education courses are taught in schools.
“By delivering traditional Windows lab applications to Chromebooks with itopia, students are no longer confined to a few hours a week in a computer lab to explore these applications,” said Kyle Azua, GCP K12 Specialist at Google Cloud. “Students can now take their projects home with them and explore their passions from anywhere, at any time.”
itopia is a comprehensive cloud orchestration and automation solution for Google Cloud, simplifying IT management for desktops, apps, compute, storage, networking, and security. Enterprises use the itopia platform to facilitate increased productivity and efficiently manage distributed teams of employees. Current customers include some of the leading companies in healthcare, education, Call Center/BPO, telco, and manufacturing.
About the Anoka-Hennepin School District
The Anoka-Hennepin School District is one of Minnesota’s largest, serving approximately 38,000 students and 248,000 residents. Spread out across 172 square miles, the district is made of 13 suburban communities north of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Anoka-Hennepin has 26 elementary schools, six middle schools (grades six through eight), and five traditional high schools, plus alternative middle and high school sites, in addition to an award-winning Community Education program.