Miami-Dade County Public Schools Move Forward With 1-to-1 Computing

Meru Networks® today announced that Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) has expanded its Meru Education-Grade (MEG™) Wi-Fi solution and rolled out Meru Identity Manager to automate student access as part of their 1:1 mobile device program. During this second wave of its 1:1 computing program, M-DCPS is giving every student in elementary, seventh and ninth grades Microsoft® Windows 8® devices. The Meru Wi-Fi currently supports about 150,000 students and their mobile devices. When the rollout is complete, it will connect all 345,000 students and 40,000 teachers in 392 schools.

To ensure success for its 1:1 program, M-DCPS expanded its Wi-Fi to better support rich-media content and online assessments in its high-density environment. The ability to do so is key to implementing Common Core State Standards (CCSS). M-DCPS uses a variety of academic and administrative applications over the Meru wireless network. Educational applications on the network include e-textbooks, Lightspeed, Edmodo, Discovery Education, IMath and Scantron. Administrators and staff also access student information systems and financial applications over the Wi-Fi, in addition to systems that support food services, transportation and facilities.

M-DCPS’ use of Meru E(z)RF® Network Manager helped speed deployment of tens of thousands of Meru access points across hundreds of schools. E(z)RF is a centralized network management software application for Meru wireless LANs. It provides network-wide monitoring, end-to-end visibility and powerful control of wireless deployments. Its web-based interface offers immediate access to real-time and historical performance metrics on each managed controller, access point and client. E(z)RF can be deployed on a Meru Services Appliance or on a VMware-based virtual appliance.

Meru Identity Manager automates network access for district-owned and guest devices, while reducing the burden on IT staff with self-service functionality. Identity Manager Smart Connect allows one-click self-provisioning of client devices for secure wireless connectivity. Identity Manager Guest Connect authorizes internal sponsors to create guest accounts and allows guests to securely self-register.

The MEG wireless solution starts with three basic steps: First, 1:1 and BYOD provisioning and secure wireless access mapped to IT policies; second, connecting all 1:1 and BYOD devices anywhere on campus; and finally, deploying validated learning and teaching applications on 1:1 and BYOD devices.

“Our 1:1 initiative is really what we call a ‘digital conversion.’ We’re taking instruction from the traditional teacher lecturing the class to a personalized, collaborative and differentiated learning program,” said Debbie Karcher, CIO of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “The Meru Wi-Fi network has worked extremely well to support our 1:1 learning objectives and it continues to scale and meet our requirements.”