Networking & Wireless | News

UK Elementary School Upgrades WiFi for Digital Learning

Giffard Park Primary School in the United Kingdom has upgraded its wireless network to support the increasing number of mobile devices being used for digital learning inside and outside the classroom.

The school's existing wireless network had been in place for about five years, but it didn't provide enough coverage or speed to support the school's digital learning initiatives. The school is located in a Victorian building with thick walls. It was plagued by Wi-Fi dead zones and even classrooms that had good coverage didn't have enough bandwidth to support online learning.

To solve these problems, Giffard Park Primary School implemented a Xirrus wireless network that uses a combination of wireless access points and arrays along with the cloud-based Xirrus Management System (XMS) for network management. According to the company, one of the main reasons why the school selected Xirrus was the multi-radio design of its arrays, which support from two to 16 radios, so the school can scale its wireless network as demand increases. According to information on the company's site, Xirrus Modular Arrays have an integrated controller and multi-core processing, which enables them to scale up to support large densities of mobile users.

Since upgrading the network, teachers have been able to implement digital learning resources such as Purple Mash, an online portal to educational activities, and students can use their mobile devices to access the online resources from anywhere on the school grounds. The network currently supports more than 250 portable computers and tablets, and over the next year the school plans to roll out a 1-to-1 iPad initiative for some grades, something that would not have been possible with the school's old network. According to Natalie Goodman, school business manager at Giffard Park, the Xirrus network also gives them "control over all aspects of security," so they can ensure students are "safe and secure when online."

Giffard Park Primary School serves children ages four to 11 in Milton Keynes, UK, which is located northwest of London.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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