Getting more out of the Surface RT in the classroom

As a school we brought into the Surface RT promotion in September 2013 from Microsoft.   The main difference to the end user is the RT device only runs apps from the Windows Store, (and there plenty of great apps now available for education!). However we wanted to get an extra bit of leverage with Surface RT within our infrastructure in school.      To do this we enabled RemoteApp and the RDWeb gateway on our Windows Server 2012. This now allows us to run any application on Surface RT devices in school, including processor heavy applications like Photoshop etc.

RemoteApp is part of the Remote Desktop Services role which you can add to the server. This allows you to stream applications from the server to the ‘device’ in this case, the Surface.   We also enabled RDWeb gateway, allowing these applications to be made available through the Remote Desktop website, this allows children to have access to these applications from home.

So how does it work from the student perspective ?

The RD Web Gateway after login.
The RD Web Gateway after login.

First the user launches the Remote Desktop Web Gateway and logs in with there school AD credentials.  They are presented with a list of available RemoteApps  (neatly organised in folders in Server 2012 r2). In this case we will click on the Adobe folder and launch CS6 on our Surface RT.

CS6 now launches on the Server as a RemoteApp

The App launches from the RDWeb site, running in a session on the server, but on the Surface RT it appears as if you are running it locally.    So this can enable Surface RT to run any application using RemoteApp, allowing you to get extra functionality from the device.  This can also enable students to access these applications from home to further learning out of school hours.

So here is the end result!   A Surface RT that should only run apps from the Windows Store, but is now running Adobe CS6.  A great way to get the extra mile from your device.

Surface RT running Adobe CS6
Surface RT running Adobe CS6

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