Networking & Wireless

Baltimore County Schools Upgrades Network To Support Mobile Learning

Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) has implemented a new wireless network districtwide to support its mobile learning objectives.

The school district is working to create an all-digital environment for its 110,000 students and 18,000 faculty and staff at 174 schools. The district's previous wireless network wasn't available in all classrooms, and some of the district's buildings, which date back to the 1930s, created networking challenges.

After evaluating options from several vendors, Baltimore County selected Aerohive's controllerless networking solution. The district has implemented more than 10,000 Aerohive access points to provide coverage across all 174 schools, more than 20 administrative buildings, 19 local public libraries and two data centers. The implementation consists of a variety of different types of Aerohive access points, including the AP121, AP170, AP330, AP350, AP370 and AP230. The district is also using Aerohive's HiveManager Virtual Appliance to manage the entire network from a single centralized location.

The district has created separate wireless networks for increased security. Teachers and staff have exclusive access to a network for databases and records, and a guest network enables visitors access the Internet while on campus. Students and staff can also access the network from local public libraries through a virtual private network (VPN) connection.

Since implementing the new wireless network, the district has an average of 45,000 users connected to the network on a daily basis and expects that number to rise to 100,000 users per day by next year. In addition to instructional technology, the district is also using the new wireless network to support systems such as building automation, HVAC and lighting in areas such as auditoriums.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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