Apple Corp.'s AirPort Card and AirPort Base Station
The AirPortBase Station is designed to allow wireless Internet access for up to 10 AirPort-readyMacintosh computers. To use the Base Station, each computer must have anAirPort Card. Only the Base station needs to be hooked up to a networkconnection. Each computer with an AirPort Card may then access the Internetwithout individual hook ups. Computers equipped with AirPort Cards can also belinked together to transfer files or play multiplayer games.
AirPort can be enjoyed by any student or adult with Internetaccess. In a classroom, the AirPort allows the computers to be moved orrearranged as needed without concern for Internet plug-in placements. Myclassroom consists mainly of physically and/or mentally impaired students. Eachyear it is necessary for me to rearrange my classroom furniture to bestaccommodate the wheelchairs, walkers, and other equipment. The inconvenience ofnonexistent or awkwardly placed “drops” is no longer a problem for me. I canalso make better use of my large screen monitor by placing it in a centralizedlocation, and still have Internet access for group activities.
At this time, our school campus is undergoing majorrenovation. Keeping the network intact is a problem all its own. When the dustsettles, another teacher and I would like to experiment to see if the BaseStation will work from my classroom to hers. If we are successful, she will beafforded the same advantages of furniture rearranging that I have.
Ours is a dual platform school. The addition of an AirPortto our campus has advanced our technology base beyond many surrounding schools.Because the AirPort system is so user-friendly and relatively affordable, ithas proven advantageous in classrooms that use Macintosh computers. (The IBM/PCfolks at my school were envious when they heard everything the AirPort can doin a classroom.) The ease of access to computers and the Internet encouragesstudents to investigate new ways of finding information, to workcollaboratively on projects, and to discover new ways to explore the world aroundthem.
I am so impressed and excited about the AirPort Card andBase Station that I plan to use it in my classroom, encourage purchases forother Macintosh classrooms, and use one at home when we acquire an additionalMac. I loved the comments from my students — one calls the Base Station a “bigmouse,” and others have said it looks like a “flying saucer,” but everyone isimpressed with what such a small, odd looking little thing can do!
Macintosh OS 8.6+
with Internet access
AirPort card — $99
AirPort base station — $299
Beverly C. Watson
Springfield Elementary School
Panama City, Florida
This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.