Networking & Wireless | News
Palm Beach County Upgrades Wi-Fi To Support Digital Learning
Palm Beach County School District
has implemented a new wireless network across all 185 schools and 13 other
facilities to support 1-to-1 learning initiatives and the state's mandated
switch to e-textbooks.
The State of Florida requires all K-12 schools to switch from paper to
digital textbooks by 2015, and the district is working on an ongoing roll-out of
a 1-to-1 learning program for its classrooms. These two initiatives placed
considerable strain on the district's aging controller-based 3Com wireless
network, which didn't cover all schools, allow centralized management or support
the 802.11n wireless standard.
The district needed a distributed network architecture that could support the
rapid growth in mobile devices and e-learning, including support for high
definition video streaming. The district considered many vendors as part of its
bid evaluation process and decided on a wireless network solution from
Aerohive Networks because it was
cost-effective, met all of the district's feature requirements and could expand
with anticipated network growth.
The district implemented more than 13,000 Aerohive access points in its schools
and administrative offices. The district uses
points in classrooms to support a wide variety of mobile devices;
points in media centers, gyms, cafeterias and auditoriums to provide higher
capacity in those areas; and
points in outdoor areas and sports facilities. The district also implemented
HiveManager Network Management System (NMS) in a private cloud to enable the
IT team to manage the entire network from a central location.
The district's new Aerohive network currently supports 125,000 devices, a
number that is expected to grow as the district expands its 1-to-1 program. The
same architecture supports three separate networks within the network: one for
employees, one for students and one for guests. The student network blocks and
limits access to certain applications as mandated by the
Internet Protection Act, which requires K-12 schools to filter harmful
The Aerohive network has enabled the district to expand its online
activities. The district now provides larger online testing facilities for all
students, more mobile devices and access to digital textbooks, as well as access
to e-learning tools such as the Edmodo social learning network and Edline community management system.
The district's IT team expects the number of wireless devices accessing the
network to double and triple in the near future, and according to Aerohive, the
new network will meet district's security and performance requirements as it
continues to grow.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.