Leveraging AWS for a Successful Learning-Centric Strategy


Traditional K-12 environments are experiencing a rapid shift in learning and development. The shift, deemed “student-centered learning,” fosters a style of learning which encourages students to facilitate their own curiosity and learning in the classroom environment. The new method is said to cultivate necessary skills for success in today’s workforce, as it encourages new motivational strategies and comprehensive learning.

In this new era of learning, educators dedicate time and resources to acquiring the best technology devices to reach and enable their students. The evolution of technology is exciting; however, it tends to leave educators siloed with devices and unaware of how to best utilize them for students.

“I’ll be honest: when faculty ask for technology, it has to drive the learning outcomes. We won’t and don’t use technology just for the sake of using it. But every one of our campuses has different policies and educators often don’t know what the technologies are capable of. We are using so many different platforms, it can be a challenge.” Patti Heisler, Assistant Director, Advanced Learning Technologies, North Dakota University System

Siloed technology is embedded in school systems, making it difficult for students to learn holistically. Teachers and students move from one device to the next with each class change.

Learning-Centric Strategy

“I’ve seen schools purchase so many tools it makes it hard to all be part of the same experience. We need vendors to create the “same experience.” Dr. Colin Marlaire, Associate VP, Center for Innovation in Learning, National University

Thanks to advances from Amazon Web Services (AWS), device-centric learning can now become a strategy of the past. With AWS, schools and districts can access industry-shaping technology at an affordable price, no matter what the scale. Utilizing AWS, educators, parents, students, IT staff and administrators can have the best learning experience possible.

Specifically created for education professionals, Amazon WorkSpaces is a cloud-based, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution providing students and instructors consistent access to teaching and learning software on their own device. Storing important files and applications in the cloud reduces the need for siloed devices in school systems and enables students to collaborate with ease.


Amazon WorkSpaces are server instances which can be customized for applications specific to K-12 needs. Data snap shots can be scheduled twice daily, ensuring your data is protected from outages. WorkSpaces integrates well with the AWS Directory Services, allowing you to utilize features from other applications with ease. Created to be user-friendly, the WorkSpaces wizard creates the VPC, Directory Services, and WorkSpaces with very little input from the end user.

As an added bonus, you can now access your Amazon WorkSpaces through Chrome and Firefox web browsers, using a new feature called Amazon WorkSpaces Web Access. Web Access establishes a secure connection to your Amazon WorkSpace from the browser, giving you safe access to your cloud desktop from almost anywhere, all without having to install a client.

Are you an educator, K-12 IT administrator, student, or parent of a student in a K-12 school system? How many devices do you see being used on a regular basis? Would your system benefit from AWS cloud computing? Let us know if the comments below!

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