Selecting the best WiFi system for a school is one of the most important technology investment decisions you should make carefully.
With the implementation of 1:1 and BYOD initiatives increasing, more schools will require an upgrade to their current WiFi infrastructure. Nothing can be more frustrating than inadequate bandwidth when a class of 20 students is trying to connect their tablets to the WiFi. Losing class time and the enthusiasm to use the mobile devices does not serve well.
My first technology initiative at the school was to upgrade the bandwidth to the best available to accommodate the 20 new iPads. The second initiative was to upgrade the Wifi. Any enterprise grade system would have been a significant improvement over the inadequate “G” consumer units we had around campus, but I wanted to plan for the future. My vision was a 1:1 or BYOD for every classroom. I wanted a system that would accommodate that growth.
Choosing technology hardware can be daunting given its dynamic nature and the extensive product offerings. Where do you start? Fortunately, I found out one of my student’s father was a WiFi guru. He owned a wireless ISP on a Caribbean Island and was a real expert. Having a resource like that is invaluable. Being able to get expert objective recommendations is not always easy to come by. I suggest you always reach out to the school parents when you are making any technology decisions, you may also have an expert among them.
The brand that was recommended is Ruckus®. Well regarded by those in the know. The quality and technology are outstanding. At first we did not think we could afford the system, but fortunately Ruckus® gives substantial educational discounts making it by far the best value. Many manufacturers offer significant discounts to the education market. Do not disqualify a product based on its published pricing.
In addition to the valuable advice by this parent, he also gave up a good part of a Saturday to help me with the configuration. This saved me many hours and I learned a great deal in the process. By doing the installation ourselves, we saved the school thousands of dollars.
In addition to the ten wireless access points that blanket the campus, there is an outdoor access point that will reach all the way down to the lake we are on. Students can utilize the WiFi during outdoor classes on our beautiful campus!
Some of the key features of the Ruckus® Smart Wifi are: beam steering, adaptive signal control, role-based user access, integrated features to handle BYOD challenges, adaptive mesh networking and more.
The staff and students are extremely pleased and impressed with this new system.
To learn more about the key features of the Ruckus® Smart WiFi system, visit www.ruckuswireless.com