University of Maryland

Sunday, November 28, 2021

iSchool Virtual Computer Lab

An iSchool dashboard-enabled virtual computing lab for creating Windows/Ubuntu instances using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Please make your request at least two weeks before you expect to make use of the virtual machines in your class.

To make the request, or if you would like more information on the virtual computer lab, please visit https://ischoolvcl.umd.edu and if you have any specific questions about capabilities or deployment opportunities, please contact ischooltechsupport@umd.edu.

Below is a list of services and software suites made available through the iSchool:

  • Survey Monkey
  • Catalogers Desktop
  • Classification Web
  • RDA Toolkit

Many other Software packages are available through UMD’s Division of IT.  A full listing can be accessed at terpware.umd.edu.

ELMS: For support for the UMD online learning environment (ELMS), please contact elms@umd.edu.


Curate Cloud
Curate Cloud
A $300K IMLS-funded project that helped launch a new online professional education certificate for digital curation professional, the Curation and Management of Digital Assets (CMDA). Curate Cloud is also developing an open-source research and educational platform, the VCL (Virtual Computing Lab), to remove barriers to access for curation tools and resources.

Building Virtual Learning Environments:
Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) professional education certificate for digital curation professional, the Curation and Management of Digital Assets (CMDA). Curate Cloud is also developing an open source research and educational platform, the VCL (Virtual Computing Lab), to remove barriers to access for curation tools and resources.VCL on top of the Amazon Cloud iSchool dashboard-enabled virtual computing lab for creating Windows/Linux instances using Amazon Web Services (AWS).
VCL Details:
The VCL is an iSchool virtual lab environment that allows students and faculty to create Windows/Ubuntu instances using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Working in the VCL “Amazon” cloud, allows for abstracting the complicated
instance configuration process on Amazon EC2 and provides a simple interface to create OS environments (instances).
The VCL proves to be an effective tool in learning since software images can be curated according to professors’ needs
with software pre-installed to their requirements. Since the images are run on the cloud Amazon infrastructure this
provides another flexible hosted option.
VCL on top of the Amazon Cloud:
iSchool dashboard-enabled virtual computing lab for creating Windows/Linux instances using Amazon Web Services (AWS)
 VCL Features:
1.Instructors may share control of student machines for problem-solving
2.Cloud monitoring – optimizing machine usage
3.Student desktop sharing – for group studies
4.Cloud-based shared data sets
The Curation and Management of Digital Assets (CMDA) Certificate is a post-master’s certificate program that focuses on instruction about and research into the creation, management, and use; the long-term preservation; and the current and future access to digital assets in a variety of disciplines and sectors of the economy.
It is a four-course, fully online certificate designed for working professionals who need training in next-generation
cloud computing technologies, tools, and resources to help them evaluate, select, and implement digital curation
solutions.
VCL Tutorial

Virtual Computer Lab Instructions

CL Tutorial

If you wish to proceed to the video tutorials, please click on the link below:

Part One: VCL Tutorial Video – beginner’s guide
Part Two: VCL Tutorial Video – For Mac

Manual

  • Go to https://ischoolvcl.umd.edu, use your university directory credentials to login.
  • The VCL homepage will appear which showcases all available class options (virtual labs).
  • Click on the blue button labelled ‘create machine’ for your class.
  • Allow a 10 – 15 minutes for the machine to create itself(it is recommended that you create your machine ahead of class to avoid delay in class work). A popup must appear below the dashboard on your screen. Click on download RDP to get the remote desktop program to run.
  • Connecting to the Machine
    • For Windows: After download is successful, click on the downloaded file to run the RDP file. It may ask you if you are sure that you want to connect before connecting as a part of the security protocol. Click on connect.The machine will prompt you for credentials. Enter the credentials shown adjacent to your class machine on the VCL home page.
    • For Macintosh: Click this link to read in detail how to use Microsoft Remote Desktop.
  • Logging in for the first time might be tricky and testing, but please allow a few attempts ( 1-5 attempts) to connect to the virtual machine. The machine generally takes up to 2 minutes to start up.
  • If you are new to the platform (operating system) that your class requires, we understand it is hard to navigate. All the softwares required for your class can be found in a folder called ‘starter kit’ on the home screen or will be pinned to the start bar(or have a shortcut to the software on your home screen)
  • Your data will be saved on the machine even if you disconnect from it or close it. Data stays on the machine until removed or the machine terminates.
  • The ‘Sandbox’ has all the temporary machines (not allocated for classes, but can be used by everyone). We use the sandbox to hold machines required for workshops and temporary projects.
  • ‘Shared’ can be used when you and your teammates want to work on a project and need a shared machine. The directory IDs of the team should be entered while creating the machine and they will be given access to the machine. The machine does not currently support concurrent work, so at any time if many of you work on the system at the same time, you will have to come to a mutual consensus to relinquish control of the cursor. If you do need to work concurrently please use webex.umd.edu to create a meeting invite members and work together.
  • If problems persist contact us at abhibv7@umd.edu.