As part of Balmoral School’s strategic plan, the Auckland school focused on developing a 21st Century learning environment. It began with a BYOD programme, facilitated by a managed wireless network.
“We wanted wireless all the time but not for the features, we just needed it to work,” said Doug Crutch, who manages the school’s IT systems part time. “Before, we only had cable and desktops throughout the school. So, we went out and got some advice to find a system that would work for our primary/intermediate environment.”
Isometric Solutions was contacted to provide a range of options. They recommended a “cost-effective deal”, and Crutch, an active user of education IT forums, did his own research before suggesting the system to the school.
“We decided on a Ruckus system with 10 access points and a ZoneDirector 1000 controller. We put in a couple of VLANs (domains referred to as Virtual Local Area Networks) but we don’t have people watching the network every day. That’s why it was important to get a managed system that just works.”
Access points were mixed models and Balmoral’s latest deployment (soon to be installed) will include the newer 7372 models.
“We’re also about to upgrade to the ZoneDirector 1100,” added Crutch, “which Isometric Solutions provided as part of a bundled deal.”
Also, the company’s support for the Ruckus infrastructure has been “very good”, says Crutch. “They’ve got very current advice and are happy to support us whenever necessary. We’ve not experienced any major wireless outages with the system, just the standard atmospheric stuff.”
As digital citizenship is a key component of Balmoral School’s strategic plan implementation, it has endeavoured to provide students with responsible guidelines on wireless use.
“These include restrictions for students’ digital devices during break and lunch times, whereby they may only use them within the library area, not in classrooms, outside, or any other common areas in the school,” added Crutch.
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