Networking & Wireless
Fort Mill School District Upgrades to Gigabit Broadband
Fort Mill School District in
South Carolina has upgraded its broadband infrastructure to provide dedicated
1-gigabit service to each of its 15 schools, supported by a 10-gigabit data
The high speed network is intended to support the increasing number of
connected devices on the schools' networks and increasing use of online
educational resources in the classrooms. According to Brian Spittle, director of
technology services for Fort Mill SD, district enrollment grew by about 500
students this year, the number of mobile devices increased by nearly 1,000 and
he expects similar growth next year.
Marty McGinn, assistant superintendent for curriculum and human resources,
said the improved network access and reliability will support the increasing use
of online instructional materials and online testing.
"Having a lot of students with access at the same time will enhance the use
of digital textbooks and online resources," said McGinn in a prepared statement.
"The 10 Gig Ethernet network will expand the capacity for teachers to integrate
technology on a daily basis in their classrooms."
"All of the assessment companies are moving to online instead of paper and
pencil tests," added McGinn. "Assessment tools must work consistently and work
quickly, particularly when there's a short window to test an entire grade across
all schools at the same time."
Comporium, a private communications
company in Rock Hill, SC, provides the broadband network service for Fort Mill
SD, as well as for Rock Hill School
District and Lexington School District 1.
Tony Cox, associate superintendent of Rock HIll SD said his district's
10-gigabit Ethernet network has resulted in rapid changes to instruction. The
district has shifted from printed to online textbooks, or "tech books," which
can be updated more quickly to keep up with current events and research. The
district also uses virtual interactive science labs and hosts virtual guest
speakers from around the world. Fort Mill SD has already started making similar
shifts in its instructional methods with its "digits"
math program that includes online demonstrations and interactive problems.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.