The nature of education has considerably shifted in the past few years. Where smartphones and tablets were once banned as distractions in the classroom, more educators are now looking to integrate these devices into their curricula. At the same time, school administrators are now increasingly utilizing online resources in place of heavy textbooks. These changes are impacting how these institutions leverage their networks, causing a considerable rise in connectivity needs to support these activities.
Schools look to increase bandwidth
According to a recent Ecessa infographic, the vast majority of district administrators plan to adjust their network resources in the next few years. In fact, 99 percent of K-12 districts noted that they are planning to increase their network bandwidth before the 2016-2017 school year begins.
There are several factors leading to this rise in network bandwidth demands, including the need to provide resources for online testing. The Ecessa infographic noted that although many school decision-makers see the potential in online testing within their institutions, only four out of 10 believe they have the infrastructure in place right now to support these activities. In this way, without the proper network bandwidth in place, schools are being held back from offering online testing to their students.
Other factors leading to increased network bandwidth needs
However, online testing isn’t the only factor leading to the rising demands for network bandwidth in the education sector. The Ecessa infographic noted that nearly 60 percent of K-12 districts currently allow or plan on permitting their students to utilize mobile devices in the classroom by 2015. According to District Administration, this is a trend that’s sweeping the nation.
Denise Atkinson-Shorey, CoSN senior project director, noted that on some occasions, students come to class with several mobile devices and need bandwidth to operate each endpoint.
“We frequently have 3-to-1, with students bringing a laptop, tablet and smartphone in, and sometimes connecting all three to the network at once,” Atkinson-Shorey said.
The infographic also noted that 4 out of every 5 districts currently utilize online materials in their classroom plans. The Winnipeg Free Press found that this is changing the way schools allocate their budget spending, as more resources go toward technological assets and districts spend less on physical textbooks.
In order to keep up with these online and mobile device-based activities, educational institutions must have the network bandwidth in place to support new innovative processes. Administrators should examine their network bandwidth usage to ensure that they have sufficient resources in place, and consider increasing their bandwidth to ensure their students can leverage mobile devices and online resources to their advantage.
Read more about how Ecessa meets the needs of Education here.