K-12 Schools and E-Rate – Wireless Access Points to the Future

What’s the connection between wireless access points and the future of education?

Although we can’t know exactly what’s coming, without a doubt, the answer will involve advanced technology. Yet it’s certainly not a straightforward path. Between the speed of developing technology and the limits to your staff and your budget, staying digitally up to date is an ongoing challenge. No one understands this better than IT network operators and administrative leaders of K-12 schools around the country. Technology and the limits to both your staff and your budget, staying digitally up to date is an ongoing challenge. No one understands this better than IT network operators and administrative leaders of K-12 schools around the country.

As digital learning tools continue to become embedded in the curriculum, meeting the growing need for reliable connectivity and increased bandwidth is a top priority. And from the standpoint of your school’s physical setup combined with the configuration of modern devices, wireless access specifically is a must. Setup combined with the design of modern appliances, wireless access specifically is a must.

Enter E-Rate and wireless access points. As a practical resource created to equalize access to educational technology, E-Rate funds can be used for wireless access points from an eligible provider. Like their name implies, wireless access points improve internet access without the need for cable connections to every device. Together, they can help meet your school’s needs without breaking your budget.

While the future glimmers on the horizon, you can make the most of E-Rate dollars to bridge the gap between your school’s current tech capabilities and your vision for the coming years.

Jetsons Versus Flintstones

While we’re not yet arriving at the schoolyard in flying cars, the future is undeniably here. How much of this sounds familiar at any given point in your day?

Your entire student body needs simultaneous access to digital learning tools. Online apps, live-streaming, and program downloads significantly demand your bandwidth.
Faculty and administration have just as great a need for connectivity. They’re uploading lesson plans, proctoring virtual assessments, reviewing lengthy documents with embedded graphics, and utilizing live chat features to stay connected with each other, students, and families.
The tech support tickets pile up faster than your IT team can manage. Without the right equipment, your staff is frustrated, and the trust between IT and the support departments has diminished.
You’ve tried range-extenders, and some teachers have even resorted to using a personal hotspot in the classroom, but neither work-around delivers enough bandwidth.

The ability to go online is as much a requirement in today’s schools as plugging in a projector was in yesteryears. If your network can’t handle the demand, it can quickly feel like your school has gone from the Jetsons back to the Flintstones when the dreaded but inevitable crash happens.

If too many days like this have found you retreating to your cave – or maybe the nearest supply closet – for a few deep breaths, it’s time to consider a better solution. And suppose questions about your school’s eligibility or the application process have held you back. In that case, this Essential Guide to E-Rate 2023 Program Success has everything you need to help you apply for E-Rate funding for your school.

Wireless Access Points – The Wave of the Future

Access points fall under Internal Connections within Category Two Services of the eligible services list.

Installed at key points throughout the campus, their primary advantage is the generation of a wireless local area network (WLAN) capable of handling numerous simultaneous connections from various devices.

Because you can set up as many wireless access points as needed, wherever you need them, students, faculty, administrators, and visitors can move throughout your building(s) without changing their signal strength. All devices automatically connect to the strongest (usually closest) access point.

This means regardless of where they log on, if they move, or whether they’re on a laptop, tablet, desktop, or smartphone, users won’t have to deal with problems like slow loading times, buffering, or dropped signals. Sound like a better option than walking with your device held up toward the router? We think so too.

If you’ve hit bottom with your existing network, likely, you’re also struggling to keep up with technology initiatives in your school district.  We get it – providing your students with the best digital learning tools is a must, no matter what form they take as the future unfolds. Better network options are out there.

From Bedrock to Orbit City

In addition to reliable connectivity and increased bandwidth, wireless access points can simplify overall network management for your IT team. When they don’t have to reinvent the wheel daily, network operators can focus on meeting higher goals in educational technology.

Although advancements haven’t entirely made it to the level of Spacely Sprockets, new digital learning tools are always in the works. Scalable and resilient network management makes adapting to ongoing changes easier and more realistic. The result? An optimized learning environment where administration, faculty, students, and their families can experience:

Technology ease of use (for all users)
Faster hybrid classroom deployments (for less student, ahem – system downtime)
Efficient upgrades and improvements (for a cutting-edge curriculum)

Your network has to deliver all of the above and more because your students’ future is just a few clicks away. With real-world digital experience now, they’ll be all the more prepared later. This is all possible with a provider who works hand-in-hand with your IT team while making the most of every dollar in your digital budget.

Extreme Networks combines a history of innovation with a range of E-Rate eligible solutions to deliver the market’s most scalable and resilient cloud-driven network management. We simplify the process of adding wireless access points, so your school can quickly achieve the connectivity and bandwidth you need in the present, with an eye towards all the possibilities of the future. When technology and education align, progress is infinite.

For today’s tips on preparing for tomorrow’s educational technology, visit our E-Rate Resource Center. We’ll help you give your scholastic community a space-age advantage.

The post K-12 Schools and E-Rate – Wireless Access Points to the Future appeared first on Extreme Networks.

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