Networks and wireless
Burke County Schools Add Support for 6 Wi-Fi Devices
Earlier this year, a North Carolina school district updated its wireless network to support devices with Wi-Fi 6 capability, before they started appearing in classrooms. Burke County Public Schools distributed 1,500 new access points to its 27 schools, using equipment from Cambium Networks (formerly Xirrus).
In a recently published case study on the project, District IT Director Melanie Honeycutt said that the deployment of the new access points “would allow students to connect faster than some of the older technologies” and allow a full classroom to stream videos simultaneously.
The district also uses Cambium’s XMS to monitor and troubleshoot the network. Recently, Honeycutt noted, a new school had a connectivity issue. “With XMS, we could immediately see that the problem was clearly not in the wireless network. It was the management of our mobile devices,” she explained. “Using the system tools, [the WAN engineer]
was able to resolve the issue immediately without having to send a technician into the classroom, which was ideal. “
Honeycutt stressed that while the new access points “would change the performance of the system in every learning environment in the district,” they would not change the way learning is performed. “The only place this could affect us would be in our elementary school where there are a lot of older devices, which will be upgraded soon. Having a Wi-Fi 6 network in place, this transition will be smooth. “
Dian Schaffhauser is Senior Contributing Editor for Educational Publications at 1105 Media The newspaper, Campus technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.