Remote Desktop Services have revolutionized how students can accomplish necessary tasks in order to succeed in their courses at Mt. San Jacinto College.
“RDS allows students to remote in to our server using their own computer (via the Internet) or one at the campus in order to access software programs,” said Andre Uckert, Network Coordinator. “This allows them to use the most up-to-date programs without having to purchase them.”
Since software programs can be quite costly – and are regularly upgraded – using RDS allows students to work with the best of the best all the time without having to purchase software required for their classes. It also saves their home computer’s hard drive from being bogged down when software programs are installed.
“There is storage allocation for each student so they don’t have to worry about losing their flash drive anymore,” said Uckert. “All their data is backed up, and the system is designed to have a high level of redundancy.”
Servers at the Menifee Valley Campus host the technology that is accessed by RDS. Maintaining the system is something the department does over and beyond the typical duties of instructional technology.
“This college has always supported a separate Instructional Technology Support (ITS) department for the use of technology,” said Mark Dumas, ITS Supervisor. “Our only mission is for students and we have only one focus: instruction. It’s what is dear to our hearts.”
Dumas started as an assistant network coordinator when he helped form the ITS department at MSJC 18 years ago. He has been instrumental in making sure technology has been at the forefront of instruction to help facilitate student success by giving them necessary tools.
“RDS is designed to give students access to software, data and storage from any location that has an Internet connection,” said Uckert, who has been with the college district for more than 10 years.
Dumas said that RDS has been a work in progress and has only been used by computer science and business students. “We plan to make it available to all students as early as next spring,” he said.
“This is just the beginning,” said Dumas. “We envision this system will be as heavily and widely used as Blackboard within five years.”
Andre Uckert, left and Mark Dumas, at MSJC's Menifee Valley Campus, with the
dedicated server that provides and monitors Remote Desktop Services for students.