One-to-One Initiatives – Don’t forget the infrastructure!

August 26, 2014

Schools of all shapes and sizes from elementary schools to high schools to higher education are rapidly seeking to put technology in the hands of students. One-to-One Initiatives in schools are meant to help put technology in the hands of the students. Technology varies as it could be the laptop, Google Chromebook, Apple iPad or Windows based tablet devices there are many infrastructure, IT support and funding considerations that should be taken into account to ensure a successful rollout.

  1. Wireless Infrastructure: Class sizes continue to increase and the amount of bandwidth consumed by each user continues to grow. It’s critical to select a wireless solution that is capable of handling upwards of 30-40 devices simultaneously. Array based wireless technologies like those provided by Xirrus provide greater coverage and performance in densely populated areas like classrooms, lunch rooms and auditoriums.
  2. Device Management: Thousands of dollars in equipment and kids at the helm of computers require that school’s focus on managing assets and user’s ability to install and access content.
  3. Identity and Access Management: Schools often support a wide range of technologies. So whether you are using Google Apps and Microsoft’s Active Directory it’s important to have
  4. Content Filtering: The internet can be a dangerous place and it is a school district’s responsibility to protect children from obscene or harmful content. The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted to do just that. CIPA imposes requirements on schools and/libraries that receive discounts for internet access or internal connections through the FCC E-rate program.
  5. Network Security and Segmentation: Simply giving students access to the internet is great but what else do they have access to? Schools and especially high schools and Higher-Ed institutions where curious students may try to access sensitive data stored on other systems need to ensure that appropriate controls are in place to restrict access. Schools should also setup separate internal network segments or vLANs to further isolate traffic. Schools should also consider various Network Access Control (NAC) solutions available on the market today.

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