How to Implement iPads in the Classroom with Little to No IT Staff
As schools assess how to rollout a mobile technology platform in their classrooms one thing stands at the forefront of being able to make that decision: who will manage the standardization? Many schools have little to no IT staff which leaves them believing they can’t possibly figure out how to rollout an iPad program without such resources. Maybe a teacher offers to take it on or maybe it falls on the shoulders of an overcommitted principal or dean. But wireless networks are ever changing and bring new challenges at a higher rate than your wired networks. Thus, many schools fear they can never allow iPads to enter the classroom due to the lack of technologically savvy staff on hand.
The good news is there is a way you can allow your classrooms to rollout a successful technology plan that needs little to no IT staff to keep it running. The answer lies in the Mobility System you choose to deploy. When planning a rollout make sure your plans include the following:
1) A Wireless Network with built in failover and redundancy with no need to designate primary and secondary units. When you’re choosing to deploy a WLAN on your campus make sure the redundancy and built in failover is included with the solution you decide upon. Make sure your access points (AP’s) are all in participation making sure your network has 100% uptime. When you have a redundant network with 100% uptime that means your staff has time to attend to EVERYTHING else instead of worrying about your network going down. On the flip side, when you have a system with a single point of failure that’s when you should be sure to include a hefty amount of IT Staff on campus to be on guard in case the system ever goes down.
2) Knowing the advantages of what a true “controller-less” solution can provide you. A true controller-less solution means there is no cloud involvement, no software to install on a server and no per AP licensing to pay each year to manage, control and keep your wireless network operational. It’s easy. It’s simple. And it was created for schools that didn’t have the staff or resources to put it all into their wireless network.
3) Finding a solutions provider offering the proper cloud services that allows you to identify who is on the network, where they are accessing the network, the mobile device they’re using, and how much bandwidth is being consumed by specific devices is a MUST. Make sure the provider offers the visibility into everything that affects the wireless and mobility which will allow you to proactively plan for capacity, visualize client performance and troubleshoot application issues before you get a helpdesk ticket.
Don’t let a small IT staff or limited resources stop you from being able to put a device in students’ hands. Technologically, it can be done with little effort needed much less a robust technology department. Do the research. Find a way. Your students will thank you.
If you’re thinking about implementing iPads in the classroom or some other mobile technology we can help get you started off on the right foot. We have worked with schools/school districts large and small all over the country and would be happy to help and answer any of your questions. Just contact us here to speak with one of our mobility specialists. Our goal is to be a resource for you! Good luck!
Daryl is a Territory Manager at SecurEdge Networks. His love for wireless and security is only rivaled by his love for basketball, if only he was a foot taller…