It’s a great idea to put digital devices to work in classrooms, but the more digital devices we have, the more access we need. To get everyone online as classes demand, schools need robust wireless and wired networks. When several classes in the vicinity of each other are busy with lessons that require wireless, will some students be denied access? Suppose your school installed enough access for the number of students and staff in your school. Will this be adequate? Not if parents and others coming into your school want to connect wirelessly and your students come to school with their own personal digital devices. Think of the students who have digital devices in their lockers and backpacks, and remember that some students come to school with more than one device that seek access to your network. Perhaps, you say that those coming into the school can only connect with one device. How do you go about making sure this system works—passwords, getting the Mac addresses of all authorized devices. . . . ?
The Center for DIGITAL Education, in an article by Tanya Roscoria in December 2012, quotes Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus, saying, “build out 10 times more capacity today than you think you need. By the time these devices get deployed, you’re going to eat all that up straightaway.”
The Education Week article, School Districts Seek Faster Internet Connections, tells of how limits in bandwidth cause problems with use of online video, educational games, video editing, etc. The article also reminds us that problems of slower access may be caused by outdated wiring, routers, switches—all the ingredients that make access possible.