Allen Independent School District
The Allen Independent School District serves the rapidly growing city of Allen, Texas, a suburban community located 23 miles north of Dallas. Student enrolment has more than doubled since 1989, bringing the current number of students to more than 20,000 in grades K-12. Students attend one of 17 elementary schools, three middle schools, one freshman center and one high school.
Whether it’s classroom-based primary and secondary education or a more flexible approach to learning, the challenges for educational institutions remain the same—how to deliver an improved end user learning experience while keeping an eye on costs at the same time.
Due to shrinking budgets, The Allen Independent School District had to find a way to extend the functional lifespan of 16,000 Windows computers.
Before incorporating ThinKiosk into their IT infrastructure, The Allen Independent School District IT team were managing and upgrading computers incapable of running efficiently on Windows 7.
Budgetary constraints ruled out mass upgrades or significant new acquisitions. The organization, therefore, needed to keep their existing inventory and at the same time convert it into thin clients which could still connect to their Citrix and RDS server farms. All of this had to be achieved quickly and economically.
“Our school district had to find a way to extend the functional lifespan of our 16,000 Windows computers…ThinKiosk has been a lifesaver allowing IT to quickly and economically convert computers.”
Brent Goerner — Director of Technology Operations
ThinKiosk allowed Allen Independent School District to convert their existing Windows computers into software-defined thin clients. ThinKiosk solved two major problems:
By deploying ThinKiosk, Allen Independent School District was able to customize with ease the user experience based upon campus and grade level, even exposing applications on local computers that had issues running on a virtual desktop.
End users benefited from ‘MagicFilter’, a feature which makes thin clients behave like a regular computer, exposing keystrokes and functionality not available on other thin client solutions.
The centralized console provided Allen Independent Schools District IT staff with a single place to manage all district thin clients, even remote control devices. This enhanced their ability to problem solve in the most challenging situations.
Because of ThinKiosk’s vast number of features and customizations, Allen Independent Schools District are now able to use thin clients in many more scenarios than they could when utilizing GPOs and scripts.
The biggest compliment may be that teachers and students are constantly submitting help tickets asking for their rooms to be converted to the new “ThinKiosk Computers”.
Being a Windows-based solution, ThinKiosk gave the IT team the ability to install and securely access applications locally on PCs and laptops. Being locally installed also means the apps will run in offline mode.
A fast and economical implementation was critical for this client. Cost savings were immediately realized by repurposing 16,000 existing devices and optimizing pre-existing infrastructure.
Allen Independent School District needed timely implementation. ThinKiosk installation takes minutes and was as simple as deploying the ThinScale Management Platform and client on the organization's endpoints.
Magic Filter delivered an enhanced end user experience. Students and teachers loved the native Windows feel when using their ThinKiosk thin clients.
Multiple security features ensured a safe and secure locked-down workspace environment in which district students and teachers could access apps and services.
ThinKiosk integrated with existing inventory, and the district's Citrix and RDS servers. Compatibility with key peripherals such as smart whiteboards and printers was achieved.
ThinKiosk seamlessly extended the lifespan of 16,000 Windows devices—without the need for hardware upgrades or costly acquisitions.
As a Windows-based thin client, ThinKiosk allowed the district staff and students to take advantage of all the benefits their end users were accustomed to using—All within a familiar interface.
ThinKiosk enabled the Allen Independent School District IT admins to manage all repurposed devices from a central console. This allowed them to detect issues in a variety of classroom and challenging remote situations.
A critical success factor for the district was a need to remain within strict budgetary controls. ThinKiosk ensured that 16,000 devices enjoyed a much longer lifespan. There was no need to reconfigure, rebuild or replace devices.
In addition to turnaround and economic considerations, Allen Independent School District needed a solution which would continue to work with key classroom peripherals. ThinKiosk enabled a seamless integration.
A variety of simple and complex management tasks can now be undertaken by the district’s IT team in a much more efficient way, freeing up key IT staff’s time and resources to work on other projects.
Allen Independent School District were able to configure ThinKiosk’s advanced features to many more scenarios than they had anticipated, removing their previous dependence on unreliable GPOs and scripts.
For Allen Independent School District, ThinKiosk proved to be a cost effective and fast thin client solution which extended the lifespans of 16,000 Windows devices in challenging conditions.
Complex and simple management tasks across all district thin clients are now undertaken seamlessly from one centralized console.
Post-implementation feedback has been very positive. Teachers and students have consistently submitted help tickets asking for their classrooms to be converted to the new “ThinKiosk Computers”.
“Users love that the ‘Magic Filter’ feature makes their thin client behave like a regular computer, exposing keystrokes and functionality not available on other thin client solutions.”
Brent Goener — Director of Technology Operations