Wi-Fi and 1:1 Benefits Teachers and Students
05-01-2014 07:02 AM
In districts where 1:1 initiatives are further along, it’s not uncommon for our customers to see dramatic shifts in classroom dynamics. A good example is Glenview, Illinois, School District 34, which is three years into its rollout of an iPad program for its 5000 students.
At Glenview, extensive classroom websites have been built for instruction and interaction. Daily homework assignments, subject areas, individual lessons, quiz portals, student journals, special project areas, parent information and other resources form the foundation of classroom teaching and learning.
“Due to our district’s 1:1 initiative, our classroom website is now our learning hub,” explains Kathryn Reihsmann, a Fourth and Fifth-grade Loop teacher at Glenview. “Access to the website is crucial to the learning process.”
“In fact” she continues, “the success of our district’s 1:1 initiative is, to a great extent, a result of the reliability of our wireless network. Reliability has made it possible for us to outline units of instruction, deliver instruction through videos and provide instructional materials, and other resources, to our students —during the school day and, later, at home.”
Helena Vena, Principal of the Glen Grove School at Glenview agrees. “As a principal, I have the privilege of visiting countless learning environments,” she reports. “I have observed, first-hand, how iPads have enhanced communication, collaboration, creativity, and student self-directed learning in our classrooms.”
Glenview is also experiencing an increase in teacher collaborations, which positively impacts classrooms. “Our 1:1 iPad program has strengthened teachers’ ability to collaborate and learn with one another,” comments Beth Tsoumas, Executive Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction for the district.
“Our 1:1 initiative enables access to a seemingly endless range of resources and tools to support the learning process,” she adds.
To achieve the reliability valued by Glenview educators, administrators, students and parents alike, the district recently updated its aging HP-based IEEE 802.11a/b/g wireless network to an enterprise-class Mobility-Defined Network architecture from Aruba Networks.
“We wanted to create an environment where wireless is invisible to teachers and students,” says Brian Engle, Executive Director of Educational Technology at Glenview, which employs 750 teachers, administrators and staff members. “It was important that Wi-Fi network access be as easy as turning on a device.”
To achieve this goal, and others, Glenview’s IT staff started by deploying Aruba Instant APs. “With the Instant AP’s the process was simple,” Engle notes. “We just inventoried the APs, plugged them in and they worked. “We’ve used an implementation strategy of one per classroom in all eight of our schools and the network is performing very well.”
The district has also invested in Aruba AirWave Network Management and Aruba ClearPass Access Management for centralized network management and access control. With these advanced tools districts like Glenview can ensure their networks are not only reliable and robust, but also safe and secure.
Naturally, Glenview’s Aruba WLAN also supports the teaching and assessment needs of the Common Core State Standards and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) online assessments.
“We adopted the Common Core two years ago,” says Engle. “With our new Aruba wireless network, we know our infrastructure is ready to take the full PARCC assessments next year. In fact, Aruba has helped enable us to reduce our testing window as we can now confidently test an entire grade level at the same time.”
To learn more about Aruba’s K-12 solutions, visit http://cloud.arubanetworks.com/k12.