Stuart Lennie, ICT Curriculum Development Officer in Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support team, has been working with ICT Corporate Services to implement Wireless Technology into Education Services establishments. The installations follow many months of work to research and evaluate the best solution, with small scale pilots being undertaken in both Primary and Secondary schools.
The chosen solution, using Cisco Wireless Access points, provides fast and reliable Internet connectivity throughout the school. This means that Council ICT mobile devices, such as laptops, can be used at the point of learning, rather than the pupils moving around the school to access ICT. At the moment the solution is being deployed across all Secondary establishments, but by the new session work will have begun to progress installations in Primary schools too.
One added benefit of the solution is the additional provision of guest access for personal devices- which could be a laptop, tablet, phone, or media player. This access, often referred to as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) allows staff and pupils to connect to the wireless network using their existing username and password, providing them with filtered and secure Internet access in the school building.
Currently a small scale pilot is underway in Denny High school to allow pupils in two Senior Phase classes to receive this access on their personal devices. This work will allow for the development of policies and guidance documentation, as well as starting to build good practice in safe mobile device use in schools.
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