While the proliferation of technology within the classroom has made it customary for districts to provide some form of entrée to the internet, many are now faced with the task of revamping existing wireless networks to optimize manageability and accommodate the explosion of mobile devices across all campuses. These six tips can help IT professionals and school administrators prepare.
- Develop a five-year plan. Consider your school’s strategic plan and how teachers and students will use digital content, tools and internet resources. Each of these will help determine the size and scope of wireless networks.
- Identify coverage requirements. To support one-to-one and BYOD initiatives, many schools opt to install an access point in every classroom to ensure sufficient Wi-Fi capacity, in addition to common area and outdoor coverage.\
- Consider 802.11ac. Offering more speed and better range, 802.11ac deliverincreased bandwidth for high-density environments, such as classrooms with numerous mobile devices and applications.
- Understand your apps. Look for a wireless local area network (WLAN) that is application-aware and provides special traffic handling based on specific applications and devices.
- Bolster security. Schools face numerous security mandates, from thwarting malware and botnets to shielding students from inappropriate web content. Consider a WLAN with role-based access privileges tied to a user’s identity.
- Simplify management. Schools need a central WLAN that’s easy to manage effectively if they are overburdened with administrative duties.
For more, read the feature "Network Upgrades Keep K–12 Traffic Humming as Usage Soars."