Investing in the Future: Wireless Education

Investing in the Future: Wireless Education

Every school year, students of all ages count on tools and resources to help them achieve academic success. Well-stocked libraries and research materials, sufficient seating and food selection in the cafeteria, and social clubs and programs are a few examples of what they need every day to eventually graduate and become self-reliant. With technological advances supporting all education levels and all the way through post-graduate studies, wireless infrastructure has never been more beneficial and critical. The post-COVID education landscape has highlighted disparity among school systems, and many governments have responded with grants and funding to close the technology gaps to ensure students can learn and benefit from remote learning and onsite technology advancements. Let’s review some challenges and benefits learning institutions face when building networks to support their student and staff community with summaries on futureproofing, cybersecurity, and failover design.

Challenge #1: Meeting Current and Future Wi-Fi Network Needs

One of the major challenges institutions faces is designing a network that both meets current needs and addresses future requirements. A network that is inefficient and inflexible can limit devices and services for currently enrolled students and makes future curriculum and support options difficult to impossible to achieve. Online and cloud-based teaching resources are only as good as the accessibility and stability of the network that allows authorized users to access course materials and upload completed assignments and communicate with other members of the community with questions, answers, and discussion points. Futureproofing a network is a benefit that addresses current needs and builds a foundation network that is agile enough to incorporate new technologies under development. Understanding the available network options for DAS, Wi-Fi, and other wireless connectivity options supply the right building blocks to handle data-heavy usage in classrooms, research areas, sporting venues, and leisure spaces where students can access social media, games, and other streaming services. Students and staff have enough stress navigating through the curriculum and competitive learning landscapes without adding connectivity and throughput problems to their list of frustrations.

Challenge #2: Cybersecurity

Another major challenge that has been increasing in recent years is cybersecurity. Ransomware, data leaks, and other malicious activities have increased as the countries have moved to more remote and technology-based interactions. Physical and virtual security work hand in hand to ensure access is given and verified consistently to protect sensitive information and ensure the network is available whenever the student or faculty needs it. In addition to a physical network layer, institutions need to consider a cybersecurity team and or protocol that can immediately respond to a cybersecurity breach by using best practices to limit network access until the threat is contained and addressed. Building a private network with options such as CBRS in the United States brings higher security that can complement a Wi-Fi network with added bandwidth and partitioned access. Keeping sensitive access on CBRS  and general use with Wi-Fi can allow an additional layer of security to users with the added benefit of prioritizing wireless resources.

Challenge #3: Failover Design

The final challenge to consider is failover design. Supplying alternate access to cloud and online-based resources minimizes lost time for classroom instruction and research access. Students have limited time to engage in new material before a new block of instruction is presented. At the same time, educators have limited time to introduce new material, access given assignments, post grades, and communicate with students and other faculty. A single-threaded network can grind progress to a halt if an outage prevents communication flow among community members. Additionally, multiple technologies across multiple bands allow subscribers to flow between checking grades, streaming sporting events to friends, and communicating with family. A single network that manages subscriber access across multiple platforms provides failover access to the resources the community needs while network issues are resolved, and full capabilities are restored.

The Solution

Ventev supplies a suite of solutions to address the network challenges that educational institution faces while providing the benefits private networks offer. Ventev’s Wi-Fi, DAS, and passive accessories enable schools to build a future-proof, secure, and flexible network that will empower students to succeed and supply cutting-edge tools to educators to facilitate learning. Find out how to leverage Ventev’s Wi-Fi and private network solutions to build the education network you need.