The learning environment has been completely changed by the constant evolution of technology. Today, most of the students and staff in any given school or university own an Internet-capable device such as a smartphone, tablet, or a laptop. Educational institutions have also learned to embrace this trend, with more schools and universities realizing the potential impact of internet connectivity and local area networking to the overall learning experience.
Most people are aware of Wi-Fi access points commonly used in homes and small offices. While these are capable enough to perform their intended purpose, they are not suitable for an environment where hundreds of users have to stay connected on a regular basis. Simply installing more of the same low-capacity hardware is also cost inefficient, as a school may have to invest in two or more access points just to accommodate half a classroom’s worth of internet users.
How Connectivity Changes the Learning Experience
By establishing sophisticated wireless access solutions in key areas of the school, it’s possible to implement more technologically-oriented teaching strategies. For example, a BYOD (bring your own device) scheme can now be used for classes. Strong Wi-Fi coverage ensures that students’ devices can connect quickly and securely, with minimal chances of dropping connections.
Wi-Fi also opens the doors for more creative teaching methods. Videos can be used more easily as teaching material, as educators are not limited by lack of a working projector or professional video equipment. Specialized apps can also be used for teaching specific subjects to keep students engaged and to make it easier for them to keep track of their progress. School libraries can also have a cloud-based “digital wing” that students can access instead of having them rely on old, outdated hard copies.
Wi-Fi for Classrooms
Wi-Fi designed for classrooms and other indoor school facilities makes things more convenient for both students and the staff. Instead of students taking notes and using up precious lecture time, a lecturer can use digital presentations and downloadable reading materials to present the lesson. This not only reduces downtime, but also allows students to view presentations from their device instead of having to struggle when looking at a faraway chalkboard.
One of the biggest factors that cause disruptions and long loading times when using a local area network is having too many devices sharing the same access point and bandwidth. Wireless LAN technologies designed for educational institutions address this problem in two ways. First, advanced access points are specially designed to handle more than what consumer-grade hardware do for homes or small offices. Second, the school network can have security measures such as site and membership restrictions to ensure that only students and staff can access the network and share the bandwidth.
Wi-Fi Access for Outdoor Areas
A common problem that keeps consumer-grade Wi-Fi technologies from providing full coverage over an entire school or university is their limited range and indoor-only design. With access points restricted to indoor facilities, students might end up crowding one spot trying to stay within range of the nearest access point.
Outdoor access solutions are built to withstand the harsh outdoor conditions that could wear out any other types of local networking hardware. The best outdoor Wi-Fi access points are fairly quick and easy to set up anywhere, making outdoor Wi-Fi deployment a cost-efficient investment for most schools and universities. These access points also have enough range to cover a large area and accommodate at least a hundred connections each, making sure both students and staff stay connected as long as they are within the campus.
Helping students absorb information has always been a crucial part of education. Wi-Fi designed for educational institutions provide students and staff with quick and reliable access to information that will pave the way for the greatest minds of tomorrow.