Saturday, October 27, 2012

Remote Desktop Just a Tab Away

When at home I use the Remote Desktop Connection to access the remote servers at school for all the curricular content I've created over the years. Remote Desktop has been invaluable especially when I have to call out unexpectedly and need to create sub plans (ah, the life of a mom) or when I want to tweak lessons at home, and now Remote Desktop-ing is even easier by adding the AccessNow RDP Client by Ericom to my Chrome browser. Now I can access the server within a Chrome window and do not have to go through the Window's menu. You too can do this even if you do not use Chrome because it will work in any HTML supporter browser.

How it Works

While I am tech savvy, I have no idea about the technical terminology of how/why this works. I liken this to driving a car: I am a very safe (yet lead-footed) driver, but I have not the vaguest inclination as to how/why my vehicle runs or how to fix it. So, I will let the experts show you:

I do know this: in order to access your school's servers, you must have the information from your tech department. 

Access Anywhere

One of my favorite things about Chrome is the ability to have my bookmarks wherever I sign in to Chrome. I can now access the Remote Desktop on any computer that has Chrome. So I shared this information with other teachers at my school and here was one reply email. For you iPad users, this is good news too: the Ericom AccessNow works on your iPad! Can it get any better?!

By the way to make the above screenshot, I...

  1. Opened a new tab, 
  2. Used the Ericom AccessNow app to open my school Outlook email on the remote server, 
  3. Then hit printscreen (my laptop at home is old and doesn't have that cool clipper tool), 
  4. Pasted the screenshot into MS Paint (on the laptop, not the remote server)
  5. Cropped, edited as needed, and saved.


It is so nice to not have to go through the Windows main menu and have that top bar appear (and always be in the way!) and be able to move easily between tabs. Also, when I use the Windows main menu to connect to the remote server, I can't copy/paste from the remote view to the home view, and for someone who loves making her own clipart with printscreen and Paint, this is a problem!

As an additional bonus with Chrome, I can minimize the browser windows and have a nice split screen between the remote desktop and my home laptop.

I might not be able to explain exactly when I need to use the splitscreen capability other than for creating more resources for class, but nonetheless, it is convenient to have when I will want to use it.

The AccessNow RDP Client by Ericom delivers accessibility, efficiency and convenience  for productivity whether at home or anywhere on the road. Find it in the Chrome Web Store.

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