Technology is a critical component in education delivery and growing moreso by the day, but the story of higher learning is not solely a technology story. It is a story about intellectual growth and delivering a consistent learning experience across the entire student population – agnostic of curricula, socioeconomic factors or hardware inventory.

Meshing the current information and technological tumult, these core modern challenges face colleges and universities especially acutely given the unique preferences and demands of today’s students.

Across the country, institutions of higher learning are increasingly exploring the transformative benefits of digital workspaces to ensure a consistent and democratic delivery of learning experiences for all students at any time, on any device, anywhere.

Components of a Digital Backpack

Such “digital backpack” technology ensures students have access to the tools they need to succeed, when they need them, and is especially helpful for students who aren’t living on campus or are unable to get to campus on a regular basis. Within digital workspace environments, processing power is housed in the data center, not in the endpoint user device. This enables efficient and secure access to applications through virtual portals across smartphones, computers and tablets of any make or model.

Without being attached to a designated computer lab or campus location, students can complete schoolwork anywhere and on their own time, even picking up where they left off on assignments from a completely different location. Students with past-generation laptops can enjoy the same experience as those bringing the latest products from the marketplace to campus.

Most students today use multiple devices, and through the digital workspace, they can work with the information and applications they need at any time, day or night, wherever they are–on their smartphones walking across campus, on dedicated workstations at home or in the classroom and even on tablets in the library, quad, coffee shop or student union.

(Next page: Best practices from universities in their digital backpack implementation)

About the Author:

Tim Merrigan is the VP of State, Local and Education for VMware.