How Can Wi-Fi Benefit Children at School?May 20, 2015 Leave your thoughts
This is a subject which is now of particular interest to me, as my partner and I have recently found out we are expecting our first child. Alongside an ever-growing list of things to do and buy for the pending Pender bambino, school catchment will be something we’ll have to consider in the not too distant future. A significant part of this will, of course, be down to what each school has to offer.
The speed at which technology is being adopted by both consumers and business has left wireless infrastructures struggling to cope and this has been felt no more so than in the education sector.
Riding the BYOD Wave
Many schools are looking to reap the benefits of BYOD – and why not? Kids are born into a technological world and will eventually apply the skills they’ve acquired through academia to work in one – but, the realities of high density networking, with a broad range of student- and staff-owned mobile devices demanding simultaneous access, is that more sophisticated systems must be implemented.
Is School Wi-Fi Worth the Bother?
So, will all of the upheaval and the financial investment be worthwhile for schools and their pupils? In a word; YES.
Paperless classrooms are definitely well on their way to becoming the ‘norm’. It’s not a case of ‘if’, but ‘when’…and preparation for many schools as already begun.
In 1:1 e-learning environments the benefits can be felt on both sides of the desk, with teachers and students taking a transformed approach to education. With such a system in place students are able to submit assignments online and teachers are able to give faster, more effective, feedback, increasing overall efficiencies and improving student/teacher engagement.
Collaborative learning is also made easier, with teachers able to troubleshoot in real-time and students finding it more enjoyable to learn through modern technology in preparation for the increasingly digitised workplace. That is not to mention the transference of hardware costs from the school to the student (or their parents) and the cost savings on stationary and other everyday consumables.
- Improved learning environment
- Better organisation
- Increased efficiency
- Environmentally conscious
But as I mentioned earlier, the demand on existing networks will continue to increase and, as such, more robust systems must be implemented for better connectivity and security.
4 Devices Per Person
Even a 1:1 electronic learning environment (one device per student), it’s likely that pupils and staff will have more Wi-Fi enabled devices that they wish to connect to the network. According to a forecast by Strategy Analytics, the number of connections will be around 4 per person by 2020 – that’s a big deal for network administrators tasked to make sense of all that traffic and to keep users and their data secure.
This leads to a requirement not only for school networks with better network capacity, but for improved Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions in order to keep track of users, their devices and their applications.
However we choose to implement these solutions, it’s inevitable if not already an inalienable truth, that our children are married to technology for all manner of things. As frightening a place as the World Wide Web can be, harnessing it to teach and to learn as well as to stay connected can, and indeed will, have a profound effect on the future.
As my parents said to me, ‘you need an education if you want to get anywhere in life’, and if the recent news regarding Microsofts HoloLens technology, providing new ways to work through holograms and augmented reality, is anything to go by, our kids will need a digital education that is consistent with the pace at which the world is making use of technological advancements.