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School wi-fi ‘not fit for 21st Century learning’

Date: Mar 4, 2013

Category: Blog

School wi-fi ‘not fit for 21st Century learning’ is a recent headline on the BBC Education and Family website. The article written, by the BBC, is based on a statement from Valerie Thompson of the E Learning Foundation suggesting that schools need to have fully accessible wireless if they are to embrace digital learning in all subjects – but only a quarter of them have achieved this so far.

Wireless in schools is expanding in usage and we have seen a large increase in deployments over the past few years with the installation of a number of different technologies, ranging from stand-alone to fully managed or centrally controlled solutions.

The key to a successful deployment is the pre-installation work, this includes the design and surveying of the location and a full understanding of what the wireless network will be used for, for example the way in which you deploy access points is different depending on the usage – the surveyor needs to understand who will be using the solutions, how many users, roaming options for users, high density areas, physical obstructions and building construction also if the solution will be just for data or if the users will be using voice, location tracking or CCTV /IPTV options.

Too many wireless networks have been installed without all of these options considered and so underperform, they are not as good as they should be…

If you are experiencing problems with your wireless network or looking to install one for the first time the site survey is an important factor to build into your design. The survey will give you a plan of your site with proposed locations for access points, this is ideal for any cabling required. The survey will also provide you with a “heat map” which will show projected coverage, data rates, interference, power levels and support for options such as voice and location services.

Rob Aldridge

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