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Building mobility into the future of education

Gary Newbold, Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Extreme Networks | July 11, 2014
In this article, Gary Newbold, Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Extreme Networks, touches on how schools and universities can handle the major challenges that BYOD has brought to education, while ensuring visibility and control of their network.

In Malaysia, Prince of Wales Island International School also deployed a new network infrastructure. The school needed high-performance capacity for its streaming media, and access to online educational instructional resources for students and staff. The school now offers top-notch educational resources and the best facilities in every area - from science to the performing arts.

In Australia and New Zealand, the introduction of the Digital Education Revolution (DER) in 2008, designed to bring about a 1:1 computer-to-student ratio for years 9 to 12, has driven schools such as Christ Church Grammar School in Claremont, Western Australia to deploy nearly 2 000 iPads to the faculty and student body. The IT team realized that they needed a new wireless solution that could support the increased traffic from streaming video in classroom full of students and deployed a range of fast, high performance wireless access points, Ethernet switches and a management solution which interoperates with their existing MDM solution. This enabled the network to respond to fluctuating demand.

Enhancing visibility and control for IT staff

More than ever, education networks are becoming increasingly difficult to protect from possible unauthorized access through a multitude of devices. Visibility and control of all of their network components - wired and wireless - from one central location are essential to prevent rogue access points (APs) from being plugged into the network.

Christ Church Grammar School in Western Australia needed a solution that could help them track and identify who was on the network, and when, despite a large number of devices connected to the same network. The new solution offers the school and its IT team a high degree of control, allowing them to automatically disconnect any device that students may have tried to jailbreak, or one that is not supported. Similarly for Prince of Wales Island International School in Malaysia, the school was able to guarantee a strong, secure network, ensuring only authenticated students and staff can access the network and its resources. 

As students' experiences continually evolve, schools need to meet changing technology needs by providing wireless connectivity for staff and students with secure, personalized services. At the same time, classrooms are becoming more mobile and device friendly, reinforcing the need for high-performance network infrastructures.




[3] 2011 Global Budget and Priorities Tracker, Forrester Research, Inc.

[4] Schools Move Beyond the Basics: Competition Will Drive Technology Into the Education Market," Forrester 2011



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