How to Add Mobile Devices to YourSchool NetworkWiFi For Mobile Networks
Issues to Consider What is a Network? Current Network Needs Analysis: Why do we need mobile devices? Access points Teacher, Staff and Administrator needs Student needs Budget & Infrastructure Implementation Maintenance & Testing Network Security Acceptable Use Policy Local Results
A network connects computers to each other, andoften to the Internet Switches connect computers and printers within abuilding, creating a network, or Intranet. Routers connect computers to other networks, or theInternetWhat is a Network?
What is a Wireless Network? A wireless network allows devices to access eachother (computers, printers etc) and the Internetwithout cables. Prior to wireless technology , mostcomputers connected via phone modems orEthernet cables. Most newer computers have built-in wirelessnetworking; older computers may require awireless network adapter card (Cisco). A wireless router typically extends up to 300feet, sufficient for a room or home space. (Cisco).
Current Network How many computers, peripherals and otherdevices? What servers, operating systems are running? What is the speed of the network?Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ash-brown/955897562/
Why Mobile Devices? Students need laptops, tablets and otherdevices for school work Teachers want to use iPads or other devicesin the classroom The computer lab is overused oroverscheduled School wants to use cloud storage
Access Points Existing computerlab/facilities Classrooms Common areas:hallways, locker rooms,library, lunch room. Other areas on campus: Teachers lounge Labs, gym, field Do visitors need access?Photo source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/cimatti/433593238/
Teacher & Staff Needs How do teachers plan to use mobile devices? Streaming movies in class Use iPad apps Use student response systems Use their own laptop in the classroom How do staff members plan to use mobiledevices? Attendance Contact with parents Training purposes
Student Needs Where will students usewireless? In classrooms for learning In common areas Possibly outside buildingsto extend the classroom Can students bring theirown device (BYOD) ? How will studentsconnect? Automatically, orpassword?Photo source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/56155476@N08/6660042699/
Budget Faster speeds and higher capacity = Higher costs Consider the following: Number of devices: Each user may have multipledevices such as a laptop, tablet and smartphone Number of access points – eachclassroom, common areas, etc. Bandwidth limitations – consider the busiest timesof day and usage expectations. Maintenance/Hardware costs Initial Setup Ongoing maintenance and upgrades Plan for expansion
Security Network security starts with therouter. Becky Waring ofPCWorldsuggests, “If you haventalready, enable your routersencryption... The WirelessProtected Access (WPA) protocoland more recent WPA2 havesupplanted the older (WEP). The router firewall preventsusers on the Internet fromaccessing your computer, butdoes not protect the networkfrom being used. Make sure you change thedefault network name andpassword on your router. Students should keep passwordsPhoto source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/simon_cocks/4534589059/
Maintenance & Testing After the network is configured, Education worldsuggests that you check and test the coverage. “Do you have coverage in the areas you expected?Is the performance what you expected? Keep anopen mind and remember that some adjustmentsmay be needed.” On-going maintenance includes back-ups,security software checks and hardware tests Change password regularly/annually for schools Make plans for expansion as needs change
Acceptable Use Policy The Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) documentcommunicates expectations to students andparents The policy can lay out the school vision, listspecific do’s and don’ts or discuss hardware careand maintenance. It defines the student’s and school’s responsibilityin case of inappropriate use, accessing content,and loss of equipment.
Local Results In my previous high school, a wireless network wasput in place several years ago: All teachers, staff and students had access Devices were configured for each community member– passwords were not handed out except for guestaccess Each person had a unique email address, serverspace Each full-time staffer and student has an iPad(beginning 2012) Laptop, iPad and smartphone use prevalent Network frequently does not have enough bandwidthfor streaming video or accessing server mid-day, butimprovements are made annually. Network extends through multiple school buildings
ReferencesEducation World (n.d.). Setting Up School Wi-Fi Part 2: Larger Networks.Retrieved June 21, 2013 from:http://www.educationworld.com/a_techsetting_up_school_wifi_part_2.shtmlCisco Systems (n.d.). What is a Network Switch vs. a Router? Retrieved June 24,2013 from:http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/solutions/small_business/resource_center/articles/connect_employees_and_offices/what_is_a_network_switch/index.htmlCisco Systems (n.d.) Wireless Network FAQ. Retrieved June 24, 2013 from:http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/solutions/small_business/resource_center/articles/work_from_anywhere/wireless_networking_faq/index.htmlWaring, Becky. (2007). How to secure your wireless network. PCWorld. Retrievedfrom: http://www.pcworld.com/article/130330/article.html
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