In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGUCCS Annual Conference, volume Part F1317, pages 67-72, 10, 2017. ACM. Paper Website abstract bibtex
© 2017 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). Jetstream is the frst production cloud funded by the NSF for conducting general-purpose science and engineering research as well as an easy-to-use platform for education activities. Unlike many high-performance computing systems, Jetstream uses the interactive Atmosphere graphical user interface developed as part of the iPlant (now CyVerse) project and focuses on interactive use on uniprocessor or multiprocessor. This interface provides for a lower barrier of entry for use by educators, students, practicing scientists, and engineers. A key part of Jetstream's mission is to extend the reach of the NSF's eXtreme Digital (XD) program to a community of users who have not previously utilized NSF XD program resources, including those communities and institutions that traditionally lack signifcant cyberinfrastructure resources. One manner in which Jetstream eases this access is via virtual desktops facilitating use in education and research at small colleges and universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Tribal colleges, and higher education institutions in states designated by the NSF as eligible for funding via the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Jetstream entered into full production in September 2016 and during the frst six months it has supported more than a dozen educational eforts across the United States. Here, we discuss how educators at institutions of higher education have been using Jetstream in the classroom and at student-focused workshops. Specifcally, we explore success stories, difculties encountered, and everything in between. We also discuss plans for increasing the use of cloud-based systems in higher education. A primary goal in this paper is to spark discussions between educators and information technologists on how to improve using cloud resources in education.