Nov 30 2023

CITE 2023: Emerging Technologies for Modern Classrooms Steal the Spotlight

Key solutions for advanced networking, data center optimization and physical safety dazzled attendees in the event’s expo hall.

K–12 IT professionals are always seeking modern technology for their schools’ users, from connections that serve IT departments to gadgets that advance student learning. As the calendar year comes to a close, admins and technology leaders should begin thinking about the solutions they’ll purchase in the spring.

CITE 2023 in Sacramento, Calif., has proved to be the perfect location to find new and trending technologies for the K–12 classroom. A showcase of products, services and demonstrations in the event’s expo hall made it easy for school leaders to learn about solutions for their staff and students.

Additionally, high school students from Woodland Joint Unified School District brought projects from their career and technical education classes to the conference Wednesday. Through these projects ­— which involved the use of Raspberry Pi devices, Python coding and more — the students shared how they are taking advantage of technology tools to think outside the box and learn science, technology, engineering and math skills.

These modern technologies, as well as many of the others exhibited at the event, show how schools can give students digital skills while ensuring they stay safe and connected to learning.

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Advancements in Networking Equipment Benefit Staff and Students

Networking technologies are the cornerstone of many K–12 learning environments today. Schools are expanding and upgrading their networks to ensure student and teacher devices stay connected.

One advancement in networking is the introduction of artificial intelligence. At CITE 2023, Juniper Networks shared how its AI-driven products quickly detect and analyze connectivity problems, saving time for IT professionals who don’t need to manually dig through reports.

Instead, they can parse the data with the help of AI, giving them root cause analysis at a glance, said Jonathan de Jesus, senior territory account manager for Juniper Networks. This is displayed in a single-pane-of-glass dashboard so that, if a teacher calls with a connectivity concern, the IT staff can quickly pinpoint why that device can’t connect or why the connection is slow.

The dashboard breaks down data into “why can’t I connect” and “why am I having problems post-connection,” which makes its analysis unique from other products, de Jesus explained.

Juniper Networks
Juniper Networks’ dashboard uses artificial intelligence to analyze data for K–12 IT departments. Photo by Rebecca Torchia

 

Working to get the word out about the next iteration of connectivity, Ruckus Networks spoke on its Wi-Fi 7-enabled access points. The company noted that its R770 AP received a lot of interest from K–12 IT leaders.

Cradlepoint also brought innovation to the showroom floor with its R2100 wireless router. With no unwieldy cables or antennae, this dynamic and compact device is designed to be installed on vehicles like school buses. This gives schools the opportunity to connect students anywhere, making it easier to build equity into the education environment and provide additional resources for learning.

Behind-the-Scenes Solutions Keep Data Centers Running Efficiently

Whether a school’s data center is on-premises or in the cloud, it needs to operate efficiently to serve the needs of staff and students. CITE 2023’s expo hall featured numerous companies with solutions to keep data centers running smoothly.

Eaton showcased a power distribution unit schools can use to power server racks in their data centers. The company also spotlighted its uninterruptible power supply products, including one lithium-ion model that could support 6,000 watts.

READ THE REVIEW: Rack-mountable UPS powers up K–12 schools.

UPS products weren’t the only technologies on the show floor helping schools manage business continuity. Backblaze had cloud-based backup and recovery services to share with IT teams at the event. The company explained how it partnered with Veeam to offer an instant business recovery solution, which works as a type of streamlined Disaster Recovery as a Service.

Schools only pay for the service when they need it, which the Backblaze team explained should occur when testing the recovery and in the event of data loss.

Tech Monitors Behavior at Schools to Keep Staff and Students Safe

School safety is top of mind for many communities and education leaders today, with many institutions looking for ways to keep their buildings safe.

At CITE 2023, Verkada’s team brought an array of products aimed at protecting staff and students. The company showcased access control solutions that allow schools to lock or unlock doors remotely; environmental sensors for detecting loud noises, vaping and other environmental changes; AI-powered cameras that use analytics to find or track someone on campus; guest management software; and intercom solutions, among others.

EXPLORE: Modern cameras play a role as school safety concerns grow.

Mike Schembri, enterprise regional sales director for Verkada, explained that all the solutions work seamlessly together but can also be used independently. One of the advantages of using the products together, he added, is that schools know immediately who to call when something within the system isn’t working. When schools are using solutions from numerous providers, it can be difficult to pinpoint the problem, call the right people and get the safety solutions back online.

Bookmark this page to stay up to date with our CITE 2023 conference coverage and join the conversation on X (formerly Twitter) when you follow @EdTech_K12 and use the hashtag #CITE2023.

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