IT is more important than ever in a modern teaching environment. But whilst technology moves on, somethings never change and one of those things is being able to improve your IT infrastructure whilst keeping costs down.
Sometimes it's simple to justify your needs, out of date PC's or a slow WiFi connection are easy for everyone to see but when it comes to justifying needs of upgrading other aspects of your infrastructure this can be harder to demonstrate.
Understanding how to demonstrate to stakeholders the IT needs of your school is one of the challenges you will face. But failure to stay up to date creates huge security and compliance risks.
One of the quickest ways to see a huge improvement in your schools IT infrastructure is to upgrade your cabling. A fibre connection allows you to increase your bandwidth and enjoy faster internet speed. With fibre cables you can enjoy a reliable connection and fast transmission of data, providing critical high-speed connections. The ability to stream content in seconds without the need for buffering provides a great improvement to end-user experience.
Bandwidth is critical to performance, and advances in hardware will not show a decent ROI without this. Even the most advanced PC or high-spec tablet can't create a high-speed internet connection for itself.
Bandwidth management keeps everything running smoothly. Schools can purchase more bandwidth when its required, however effective management will keep this to a minimum. Reducing costs and maximising efficiency.
Bandwidth can be controlled to reflect needs, e.g. Students and Educators can be placed on separate networks to ensure bandwidth is kept available for vital educational needs rather than for students to download the latest mobile game.
IoT and BYOD
IT in schools is no longer about a solitary computer in a classroom, but instead all the devices that are present from smartphones, to fitbits and ipads. As IoT continues to grow, multiple devices like this can diminish bandwidth from where its needed most.
This also raises a security concern. Here, a password system would allow unauthorised activity to be prevented and limit the WiFi connections. Students and Staff can be provided with different levels of permissions, keeping students away from accessing confidential information.
Placing students on a seperate network to staff free's up bandwidth, increases visibility for IT network managers and prevents a potential data breach.
5G needs to form part of the consideration for a wireless internet infrastructure.
Although 5G is not widely available now, the rollout continues and it is estimated by 2020 it will be widespread. Whilst we don't yet know if this means we will be able to reduce the need for cabling, it would be wise for any educational facility to take this in to consideration and plan accordingly, incorporating scalability in to the future infrastructure.
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