As one of the Python mentors, I want to say, in defense of Eclipse (Ellipse being our student version) as a “user active” platform, that:
(1) it serves as a uniform GUI / IDE for C++, Java and Android courses in addition to Python, thereby smoothing cross-training
(2) our goal is more realism as we get more advanced i.e. if next stop is the work place, then a full featured IDE on Windows client pointing into a shared Linux-managed file store is not an unusual configuration.
That being said, a remote desktop connection will vary greatly in bandwidth. I recommend speedof.me for self assessment. I know when I travel, my bandwidth sometimes deteriorates. Remote desktop performance is for sure not a simple function of distance.
Also, another caveat: we do provide a learning environment to Python1 students, a custom browser plug-in you won’t find in the work place, but a good introduction to editor + bash shell + Python interpreter, and with the Lessons and Objectives right there in the same layout. Our Eclipse setup somewhat emulates this “training wheels” beginning.