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Remote Desktop is what the name implies.
Wouldn't that be a simple, but frustrating explanation of the term?
Breaking down the terminology, the desktop portion of the term comes from the word "desktop" or "personal" computer and refers to what is currently on the desktop or screen of a personal or desktop computer of an individual user. As opposed to the large, room-sized computers in the early history of the technology, desktop computers can also refer to a kind of computer that can fit on a desk and does only need to be operated by one person. Remote refers to that of which is distant from the source. In this case, the word "remote" is describing the desktop so the desktop is distant from the source. The source is what is controlling the operations of the desktop. The desktop computer is being controlled from a distance.
Where could controlling or operating a computer from a distance be effective? Let's use the classroom.
Teachers can use the remote desktop in a computer lab setting in order to see all of their students' screens from their own computer. The teacher is able to control the students' computers and has access to edit their web pages. The teacher can also choose to lock or freeze the students' screens if they feel the student is off task or when they would like the class to be increasingly focused in attention during a lesson. The importance of being able to view and/or lock or freeze the students' computers lies in classroom management as Remote Desktop highly encourages students to stay on task. Desktop allows for the teacher to see, control, restart, and install software on any computer in the classroom from one main computer (which is a certain, unspecified distance from the rest of the computers).
Apple Remote Desktop is a software for the Mac OS X, which allows a user access to other computers (with permission) either on a network or over an internet connection. Remote Access can be used in real time to manage other computers by:
- Observing the activities of other users
- Sharing information / screens
- Taking complete control of the computer
- Locking access
- Loading software
- Using remote drag and drop features
- Searching through files
Using these features of Remote Desktop, a user, from his/her computer, would be able to assist another person with any task almost as though he/she was standing over the persons shoulder. Similar products such as can be used with a PC. LogMeIn and CrossLoop can be used with a PC.
The following is a great article that shows some good examples of the advantages and disadvantages of remote desktop.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Furthermore, it is important to note that locking access or freezing the computer of a distracted student to encourage that student to be more focused in class does just that. It only encourages. It does not stop the student from talking to their neighbor, passing written notes or otherwise distracting and disrupting the class. The teacher or instructor must have the proper steps necessary to take in action in case the encouragement of locking up or freezing a computer does not function.