Connecticut district Deploys Wireless LAN for Dynamic Learning

Glastonbury Public Schools in Glastonbury, Conn., has implemented a district-wide wireless LAN from Aruba Networks, Inc. to support its classroom learning initiatives. Designed and configured in partnership with Atlantic Computing Technology Corp., the new Wi-Fi infrastructure simplifies network management and allows teachers and students to leverage technology such as iPads and Apple TVs.

“In order to move to a 1:1 teaching model, we knew we would need a more resilient and reliable wireless network that is easier to manage,” said Chris Macca, Coordinator of Instructional Computing, Glastonbury Public Schools. “Thanks to the new wireless infrastructure from Aruba and the incredible support we’ve received from Atlantic, we have the ability to put an iPad in the hands of every student and teacher and an Apple TV in every classroom. Having an enterprise-class solution also better prepares us for the online assessment requirements of Common Core and Smarter Balanced Assessments.”

Glastonbury Public Schools previously had a mix of wireless products installed but lacked an end-to-end infrastructure capable of supporting its 6,600 students and 1,100 faculty and staff. The district knew that Wi-Fi was a critical component of its technology initiatives, and wanted a network that could support growing numbers of devices and be managed centrally for its nine schools and administration building.

The new Aruba wireless LAN includes Aruba access points, Mobility Controllers, AirWave Network Management System, and ClearPass Access Management System with Aruba AirGroup for Apple AirPlay.

With the Aruba ClearPass, users can onboard devices themselves, conserving IT resources and tying each device to a username. Aruba Airwave can then use this information to identify who is accessing the network, where they’re accessing it and how much bandwidth is being consumed.

Aruba AirGroup, designed to support large numbers of devices running Apple’s AirPlay streaming content platform, enables wireless projection on Apple TVs throughout the district. AirGroup uses the policy-based management capabilities of ClearPass to maximize Wi-Fi bandwidth and allow devices to access Apple TVs based upon their location. This infrastructure creates flexibility for educators and a powerful learning experience for students.

“By utilizing iPads for instruction and Apple TVs for wireless projection, our teachers can move away from simply lecturing from the front of the room, and our students can benefit from ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning,” said Macca. “Aruba and Atlantic worked with us to ensure that the Apple TVs work consistently across the wireless network.”

With the new Aruba network in place, Glastonbury is looking to eliminate half of its static computer labs and replace wired desktop computers and equipment with mobile devices, leading to a reduction in hardware, software, and power and cooling costs. The school district has also increased its network bandwidth to support a move to the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard in the future.