Electronic Learning

German District Deploys Wireless LAN for 1:1 Program

Unna School District in Unna, Germany, has announced it has deployed 802.11n wireless local area networks (WLAN) in five of its 21 schools in the first phase of the district-wide Unit21 project. With a 1:1 laptop program, the district said it expects all of its more than 10,000 students to have 802.11n WiFi access to the Unit21 virtual campus when the project is complete.

Unna is using an Aruba Networks WLAN and the Managed Learning system from Ackay-Schwarz Consulting, which also installed the network. A spokesperson for Ackay-Schwarz explained that, with security of especially high importance on a wireless network serving a school district, both automated monitoring and updating and manual control over operations must be optimal. He said that all security and anti-virus updates are immediately applied to all users connected to the network, and that the Aruba management software "continuously monitors the network and offers detailed insights into the status of every laptop and access point."

Another component of the Aruba Network that substantially aids a high-density program like Unna's Unit21 is Adaptive Radio Management (ARM), which controls how WiFi devices interact and allots sufficient network resources to all of the applications being used, including the more demanding multimedia applications.

"A high speed wireless network removes many of the obstacles to implementing a managed learning system," said Hans Ruthmann, head of the district's Gesamtschule Königsborn secondary school.  "Our teachers are no longer limited to accessing e-learning systems from one or two specific locations and this provides them with a much more flexible working environment. The [new solution] allows the teachers to concentrate fully on their teaching and removes a major administrative burden."

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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.