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Colorado Academy Rolls Out Power over Ethernet for Classroom Technologies

The Brocade FastIron SX series

As part of an effort to enhance teaching and learning, St. Mary's Academy in Englewood, CO is providing streaming video, interactive whiteboards, and pervasive network access to its classrooms.

The private Catholic institution is supporting its classroom technologies and unified communications (voice, data, and video) via a gigabit-speed wired infrastructure. According to hardware maker Brocade, which is providing switches and other technologies used in the deployment, the school is also taking advantage of power over Ethernet (PoE), a technology that allows electrical power to be delivered along with data over networking cables.

The wired infrastructure, the company said, provides "continuous secure application connectivity, such as interactive [whiteboard] and IP-enabled interactive whiteboards that use touch detection for virtually limitless user input and educational video streaming."

According to Curtis Johnson, director of technology at St. Mary's Academy: "Technology is changing the classroom model by enabling customization and new ways of delivering academic content and interaction between students and teachers. Our goal at St. Mary's is to provide innovative technology services to our educators in the classroom to make the learning experience rich and dynamic for our students. Brocade provides us with a highly resilient always-on network that operates at wire speed, along with intelligent power management tools to continuously measure performance while reducing our implementation costs."

Brocade said St. Mary's is using FastIron SX 10 GbE modular chassis switches and FastIron fixed and stackable switches. The high-density switches are designed to conserve rack space and save on cooling costs.

St. Mary's Academy is an independent Catholic school serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade in a lower school, middle school, and high school.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).