Get to Know Itopia: ICCSD’s Virtual Desktop Platform

Check out the video below for a demo of Itopia, the platform used within the Iowa City Community School District to provide Windows software to students and staff using Chromebooks, MacBooks, or other devices.

As mentioned in the video, this service is available to staff and students, though access may need to be requested for some users. To request access to Itopia, a staff member must submit a request for themselves or on behalf of a student through our technology request system.

Logging In to Itopia and Support Information

For information about logging in to Itopia, please visit our Itopia how-to page. You can also get more detailed information at our Itopia support site.

Why does ICCSD have this platform?

The district implemented Itopia beginning in late fall of 2019, which turned out to be timely with our transition to fully-online and hybrid learning during the pandemic, which also necessitated removal of shared technology (i.e., computer labs) from schools as a health and safety precaution. Itopia allowed ICCSD students and staff to access the Windows-based software required for their courses from Chromebooks and personal devices, regardless of their location. While most students are back onsite now, the need for resiliency in our technology service offerings has never been clearer.

Beyond an increased awareness of the need to provide for learning mode flexibility spurred by the pandemic, the primary reason that ICCSD adopted a virtualized software platform was to provide equitable access to learning resources to all students, regardless of location or financial ability. For many students, the only time they would previously have had access to software needed for their courses was when they were in a physical computer lab. While this was the status quo for many years, inherent in this reality were barriers to learning, and to students’ ability to pursue passions that students discovered through their art, science, and engineering coursework, to name a few areas that are particularly served by a platform like Itopia.

Now, in addition to providing access to the Itopia platform, ICCSD also provides every student with a Chromebook, and provides home internet connections for students whose families don’t already have internet in the home. By teaching our students how to access this resource, we’re enabling hours spent with Adobe Illustrator, Autodesk Inventor, Android Studio, and other applications that provide students with access to professional tools that have the potential to fan the flames of students’ passions, leading to new opportunities in our students’ educational and professional careers.

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