Back to school shouldn’t mean a return to poor connectivity

Schools, colleges, and universities are returning to “normal” after the storm of mass home learning, or should we be saying a “new normal”? With the implementation of hybrid working arrangements, schools, colleges, and universities are getting back to “business as usual.” The worldwide epidemic will be remembered for many reasons, among them the quick transition to online learning. The Education industry understands the value of high-speed, widespread campus-wide networks because it is no stranger to the benefits of online content in support of multiple styles of learning.

The key to a successful school is the proper networking infrastructure, which includes but is not limited to pupil registration and setting homework, internal communications, and finance. Unified networking is also important since schools and colleges may be found across many campuses and sites. Many vital personnel will require access to the same fundamental applications and documents from wherever they are in the organization’s campus. In reality, if you have it right, it becomes completely unnoticed by employees and students alike.

Accessing digital learning may put a strain on the infrastructure without your knowledge. While schools and colleges have planned for all of the laptops and tablets they have purchased, pupils’ individual devices add an extra burden to the network. 802.11ax or WiFi6 are two of the most recent WiFi standards that not only revolutionize wireless speeds but also include performance-enhancing features to support more devices per access point as well as seamless wireless roaming by default.

Building for hybrid operations

In many situations, such as in New York City’s schools where teaching has been made obsolete by technological advancements like Google Classroom, necessity has forced a rapid expansion of digital platforms such as Google Classroom. To avoid bottlenecks and unwanted interruption in the classroom, networks need adequate capacity, and administrators require the tools to manage the network in real-time.

The infrastructure team, like an F1 pit crew, are the technical geniuses who allow instructors and students to reach and maintain their best possible performance. Administrators are left waiting for the metaphorical tire to come off before discovering a problem unless they use cloud-managed networks. Smart schools give network monitoring and management tools that enable them to prepare predict and plan ahead of time, therefore preventing network outages caused by human error. Without leaving their offices, they may use software-defined networking (SDN) or cloud-managed networking to monitor and manage their networks in real-time. In other words, the network team spends less time putting out fires so that students may have access to knowledge.

The importance of a digital platform for schools and educational institutions to use in order to conduct hybrid learning from the inside out cannot be overstated, given that schools are reintegrating back into in-school learning. The infrastructure team may utilize a specialized cloud controller to manage each network individually, preventing unnecessary visits to each location. Heat map data from the site survey can be uploaded into the cloud controller to assist with resolving any problems with individual or multiple access points. The heat data may be uploaded to the cloud platform, providing an extra perspective on each access point’s data. This results in a more accurate diagnosis because adding the heat data to the cloud platform adds another dimension to the data from each access point. Using the same setup at multiple sites ensures that subject specialists and digital leaders who must transfer between locations have a smooth transition by using the same login credentials to access the very same resources, regardless of where they are on campus.

“The only thing that is constant in life is change,” as Heraclitus pointed out. This is also true when it comes to networking. We propose you follow these easy guidelines to stay ahead of the competition and get the most out of your budget:

  • Take advantage of a free network site survey to ensure that you have the proper hardware in place now and in the future to support your learning facility.
  • Integrate software-defined networking into the infrastructure team’s toolkit.
  • Check the warranty coverage of the equipment in case a mission-critical access point or switch fails.
  • Look for license-free alternatives if you’re looking for a one-time fixed sum for your projects.
  • WiFi 6 is the best option for increased performance and load density.