NJ District Expands Bandwidth To Boost Educational Opportunities
Howell Township Public Schools of Howell, NJ is expanding its network bandwidth and moving to a fiber-based system for netowrk and telecommunications. Optimum Lightpath will be providing Internet and telephone service for the district.
The 6,800-student K-8 district had outgrown its 6-megabit T1 infrastructure, with the result being slower WAN and LAN connectivity and limitations on improvements in its educational technology. The new system is an Ethernet-based private fiber network providing bandwidth of 50 megabits, significantly increasing speed and efficiency and, as a result, allowing the district to adopt new technologies more economically.
And Howell Township PS does a lot with technology. Sixth grade students receive an introduction to technology that includes the Design Problem Solving Loop, which teaches applied problem solving and critical thinking skills. Seventh-graders delve further into technology, studying research and design, flight technology, and simple machines. One well received project involves building CO₂-fueled dragsters, testing them in wind tunnels, and actually racing them. And in eighth grade, students move into real-world technology applications such as digital imaging and computer aided drafting (CAD).
"Optimum Lightpath has given us a great solution, and economically, it's been a great decision," said Tom Aquino, HTPS director of information technology. "Now we are exploring all kinds of things we could not do before: using teleconferencing, conducting video conferencing with NASA and the national archives, deploying Smart Boards, using WebEx to increase efficiencies, and using podcasts for teaching and research."
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.