Goddard Public Schools Enable District-Wide BYOD

Aruba Networks, Inc. today announced that Goddard Public Schools, a K-12 school district in Goddard, Kansas, has deployed a unified wired and wireless access network based on Aruba’s Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture, as well as Aruba’s ClearPass Access Management System for secure provisioning of mobile devices on the network. The district deployed Aruba’s wireless infrastructure and wired access switches to enable a district-wide Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiative for Goddard’s 765 faculty and staff and 5,500 students.

Despite a lack of existing models for K-12 BYOD initiatives, Goddard Public Schools included BYOD as a key concept in the three-year plan it submitted to the state of Kansas. The district’s proposal was to enable staff, faculty and students to use a combination of district-issued and personal mobile devices, with a primary goal of offering more technology-centered learning that integrates the devices into the classroom, and a long-term goal of cost savings.

Working with partner AT&T, Goddard began with a pilot deployment in April 2012. Based on the success of that initial deployment, the district quickly “ripped and replaced” all of its existing wireless equipment with Aruba’s wireless infrastructure including Aruba AP-135 and AP-105 access points, mobility controllers, the AirWave Network Management System and ClearPass Access Management System. Goddard also plans to use Aruba’s AirGroup capability to make it easy for classrooms to use AppleTV devices and Apple AirPrint across the network. The new unified wired and wireless network covers the district’s twelve schools, five support and administrative buildings, a separate facility that educates at-risk students and the high schools’ gymnasiums, softball fields and football stadiums.

The new WLAN currently supports 3,000 school-issued devices and 1,500 personal devices, but Goddard expects the mix to change as the district encourages staff, faculty and students to use their personal devices in the classrooms. At the high school and middle-school level, Goddard expects that about 75% of the devices connecting to the network will eventually be personal devices.

“By introducing BYOD into our schools we’re really experiencing a paradigm shift – almost a ‘flip the classroom’ scenario – that will transform the teaching and learning experience,” said Mitch Krueger, Director of Technology, Goddard Public Schools. “We are moving away from static labs towards a 1:1 environment with a hybrid of district-issued and personal mobile devices, and we’re encouraging teachers to share how they’ve used these devices, as well as specific applications, in the classroom. The new Aruba network has been critical to enabling this technology-centered learning environment.”

The new network also allows Goddard’s maintenance, building administration and District police department to monitor and secure the schools. On the maintenance side, personnel use iPads to connect to the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) server and administer remotely. Building administrators and District police both have access to and can remotely monitor security cameras throughout the school buildings using their mobile devices.

Using Aruba’s ClearPass system, Goddard began including district-owned devices in August 2013, providing these trusted devices with a secure log-in and certificate. When students arrive to school with personal devices, they will use their Active Directory log-in to become part of the guest network.

Goddard is also looking to extend wireless access into the community in popular spots like the public library.

Said Krueger, “Our neighboring community could certainly benefit from the same type of BYOD program that we’ve enabled in our school district.. If we can enable that kind of ‘right now’ access throughout the community, it’s a win for everyone.”