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Is Your School Network Sufficient for Student Devices?

Is Your School Network Sufficient for Student Devices?

Due to the pandemic, schools have more federal funding to help increase broadband capacities. The FCC just announced a second window that opens September 28th. Learn more about the second window.

However, increasing the broadband to the district is just the first step in providing better internet for teachers and students. Whether you have devices for each child or your teachers share carts of devices, it’s important to have your network configured properly to ensure all devices can have a strong internet connection during instruction. Nothing is more frustrating than teachers trying to integrate technology into their instruction and the internet connection not being able to handle 25 kids in the same room at once.

There are basically three parts to a school district’s internet connection: the broadband connection from the outside coming into the district, the switches and connections between school buildings and the Wi-Fi access points distributed throughout the building.

One of the problems I have seen at various Oklahoma districts over the last few years is in the number and location of Wi-Fi access points. Depending on the company that installs the equipment, they may not do what’s best for classes; they may just do what’s quickest or easiest. I have seen locations that have the access points installed in the middle of the hallway. This can cause issues as rooms can fight over access and cinder block walls can reduce the quality of the signal.

Ideally, even if you just have devices shared on carts, it’s best to have a Wi-Fi access point in each room. This ensures there is no signal strength issue and that students in two rooms aren’t fighting over one access point. Also, if you have Wi-Fi access points in common areas, you may need access points designed for more connections or multiple access points in each area.

If you have any questions regarding current or future internet connections in your schools, the OPSRC tech team is here to help. We are also here to help with any other technology needs you have. You can reach us by sending an email to techteam@opsrc.net.

Kurt Bernhardt

Director, Technology

Kurt serves as OPSRC's technology director.

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