Jackson Prep students just got significantly faster and it has nothing to do with athletics. That’s because last fall, the school’s new state-of-the-art dedicated Wi-Fi infrastructure went live with the help of C Spire’s Education Revolution technology solution.
The diversified technology company and Flowood institution joined forces to make Jackson Preparatory School Mississippi’s first academic institution to receive the comprehensive hosted high-speed Internet solution.
Jackson Prep’s technology plan focuses on preparing students for the technologically sophisticated classroom they enter upon graduation, so the fact that in the 1999-2000 school year Prep was the first school in Mississippi to install a campus-wide wireless network is not surprising. However, rapid advances in technology have made frequent upgrade and replacement a challenge. The Prep-funded scalable Wi-Fi solution removes the overwhelming upfront costs and allows the school’s wireless infrastructure to keep pace with the academic rigor and excellence that has always been part of the classroom experience.
C Spire’s hosted Wi-Fi solution, which was installed at the school over the summer, features over 100 access points throughout Jackson Prep’s campus, providing secure wireless internet coverage in every corner of the school. The solution also provides simultaneous wireless connections for every student in every classroom and throughout the campus – allowing for immediate access to essential web-based resources and digital learning tools like digital textbooks, library e-databases, reverse learning podcasts, electronic submission of assignments, real-time lectures, mobile applications, and so much more.
C Spire’s hosted Wi-Fi solution at Jackson Prep allows students and faculty in every classroom to have simultaneous access to web-based interactive learning material, widespread online testing and mobile educational apps. Additionally, Jackson Prep’s customized network features TeacherView – an app for teachers that allows them to see, manage and control the students’ connection status instantly. Teachers can adjust connectivity based on the curriculum and plan for the day. For example, they can enable access to internet resources for class time use and disable at testing time.
“TeacherView is just one example of how C Spire’s hosted Wi-Fi network has enhanced the educational process and student experience at our school,” said Denny Britt, COO of Jackson Preparatory School. “The network infrastructure C Spire has put in place at Prep is helping our teachers bring innovation directly into each classroom and helping our students develop 21st century skills they need to be successful as they move on to college and beyond.”
Britt and Laura Bishop, head of IT at the school, said C Spire helped accelerate implementation of the school’s technology development plan with the hosted WiFi solution. “C Spire took our [Jackson Prep] 3 – 5 year wireless infrastructure technology plan and made it a reality within 6 months,” Bishop said. “That’s progress on the fast track.”
C Spire’s technology solution responds to the rapid development and introduction of new digital learning strategies and tools for schools.
Access to Digital Learning Tools
- Digital Textbooks: Digital textbooks are more portable and convenient for students. Mobile devices also serve as a consolidated repository for academic resources. Instead of carrying around textbooks, notebooks, dictionaries, and other study aids in a backpack, a mobile device provides students instant access to a multitude of resources.
- Mobile Applications:Numerous apps have been created to support traditional teaching and learning activities. Some of these replace existing learning plans and teaching methods, while others supplement the more familiar in-class instruction.
- Teacher/Student Interaction: If teachers upload videos of the daily lesson or instruction, students are able to watch it later and review if there was a concept they missed or didn’t understand the first time. The opportunity for review extends beyond the classroom setting and can be done in the privacy of one’s own home or on one’s digital device. It also gives students the chance to take control of their own education and make decisions based on their personal learning style and speed.
- Supplementary Learning and Tutoring: Students can interact with web-based tutors, sites or other resources through software that can be used on any device with computing capabilities.