Networking & Wireless | News

Boulder Valley Accelerates BYOD Program

Boulder Valley School District in Colorado is overhauling its wireless network in an effort to deliver comprehensive coverage to support its new BYOD program.

The district has already replaced the legacy wireless network at one secondary school, Monarch High School, which served as a pilot site, using a variety of gear from Extreme Networks. Plans call for a district-wide wireless overhaul as part of BVSD's "One to One" initiative.

 
BVSD students and staff discuss the new wireless environment and the "One to One" program. Video provided by Extreme Networks.
 

 

BVSD's One to One initiative is a replacement for its traditional computer labs. It encourages students to bring their laptops and other devices to school for use as collaborative learning tools. The district also provides devices to students who qualify for financial assistance (students who qualify for free or reduced lunches and those whose families might be experiencing financial hardships).

"Students in 2012 rely on all kinds of devices, from iPhones and tablets to traditional computers, taking their projects, blogs and documents with them wherever they go," said Jerry Anderson, principal of Monarch High School, in a prepared statement. "Extreme Networks delivered the network we needed to support BVSD's 'One to One' program, creating seamless connections with a simple and painless deployment. Wireless is now everywhere on campus and it's terrific."

According to information provided by Extreme, the legacy wireless infrastructure was unable to handle the demands of the school's BYOD program.

"Monarch High School's previous generation WLAN system was unable to reach all campus classrooms, failed to provide high density connectivity, and could not scale to support the increase in data traffic as a result of today's mobility demands," according to Extreme. "Students and teachers could not implement device-to-device collaboration, and teachers were unable to confidently implement the most desired technology into their curriculums."

The new WLAN at Monarch took a more a distributed approach. The deployment included Extreme Networks' Summit WM Controllers and Altitude 4511 Snap-On Wallplate Access Points. Those APs connect to the RJ-45 and RJ-11 jacks in classrooms, using existing CAT-5 and CAT-6 cabling to build wireless networks using the school's wired infrastructure.

BVSD operates 30 elementary schools, 16 middle and K-8 schools, and 12 high school and combined schools Colorado, spanning 500 square miles. The district's student population is about 30,000, with more than 4,000 faculty and staff members.

Additional details about the BVSD One to One initiative can be found on Monarch High School's One to One portal.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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