How to use Wi-Fi to improve the teaching experience
By Paul Hennin, Director, International, Aerohive Networks
Technology is completely transforming the learning experience. In recent years we’ve seen the proliferation of mobile devices and educational applications in the classroom. Education technology charity Tablets for Schools found that as of last December, 70% of primary and secondary schools in the UK now use tablet computers, and this is increasing at an exponential rate.
With so many devices entering the classroom, the right wireless network has become the most critical component to help teachers do their jobs. Whether in a school or university, the IT administrator needs to have visibility and control of how each device, and the apps on them, are being used, to empower teachers.
The future is mobile
While the best learning tool is still great teaching, devices and applications that improve this experience will prove to be beneficial and engage students. The smartphone has added a new element to the classroom experience, enabling teachers to teach in new and innovative ways that suit them. For example, gamification can now be used to ensure that teachers can understand which students need more help and guidance to improve their performance.
Smart devices such as Interactive Whiteboards, Apple TVs and eReaders are also becoming the go to tools for teachers. They are contributing towards the making of the modern institution that must be supported with robust and secure Wi-Fi. Without this, schools won’t be able to support and fully embrace the new classroom technologies that exist today.
Wi-Fi: Enabling teachers
The right wireless network is a key component to unleash new learning experiences by connecting students to smart technology, enabling learning applications on any mobile device. It also provides seamless network connectivity and security throughout the whole school, from the classroom all the way through to university dorms.
In schools, it is essential for the network administrator to have visibility of what all these new devices, and the applications on them, are being used for to ensure both network and student performance remains high. For teachers this information can be used to gain an understanding of which applications and websites their students are most engaged with so they can incorporate them into lesson plans.
By using Private Pre-Shared Keys (PPSK), the IT department can give different levels of access to the network users depending on the type of device and its owner. This can be used to ensure that certain classes have access to relevant applications on their devices, enhancing the teacher’s ability to do his or her job. It also ensures students avoid getting distracted by any ‘unofficial’ browsing.
The future of teaching
Moving forward, the intelligence collected from devices and apps that are connected to Wi-Fi will help govern the industry. In the current schooling system, all students are taught and tested in the same way. By analysing big data, teachers will be able to understand the best way to interact with each and every student, creating a more engaged and motivated classroom. Also, key learnings in one classroom can be shared with other schools in other regions to improve teaching throughout the country.
When looking for ways to reinvigorate the classroom, it is vital that schools look at the right wireless network to enable new technologies and capture intelligence, helping teachers to do their jobs.