A Shropshire primary school has become the first school in the UK to roll out a full 802.11ac WIFI network to support mobile activities. Windmill Primary School in Telford selected the solution from supplier Xirrus with channel partner TechLab.
TechLab deployed XR-620 access points around the school with monitoring and traffic management services provided by Xirrus Application Control and the Xirrus Management System.
The establishment will use mobile devices as learning tools for its 360 pupils. It will introduce iPad and Lenovo Yoga tablets and Sahara LED screens and wireless presentation system software WePresent to students, aged 4 to 11. Teachers will then have the ability to control what is displayed on pupils’ devices.
Mark Gibbons, head teacher at Windmill Primary, said he wanted to make sure the school's broadband connectivity and WIFI network was reliable before upgrading endpoints. Rather than jump right in with devices for every pupil, the school decided to address the infrastructure, he said.
A pilot, involving five and six-year-olds using laptops for accessing the Internet, viewing video and learning tools, proved successful. A full deployment will occur in the 2014-2015 school year.
Xirrus chief executive Shane Buckley said, 'We have the technology to translate usual education processes into captivating classroom experiences, which both engage students and give staff the flexibility and ease to manage classes in efficient and effective ways.'
He continued, 'Our industry-first all-802.11ac network solution is designed to support institutions that are pushing the boundaries of learning and challenging traditional infrastructures that aren’t delivering best results.'
Lawrence Whiting of TechLab said: 'The success of this initiative came down to the unique design of Xirrus’s technology and its support for the 802.11ac standard. Xirrus outperforms competitive solutions by providing dual 11ac radios per access point, while network management is made easier with the Xirrus Management System.'