Wireless Networking

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."

About the Author

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.