The Oyster River Cooperative School District (ORCSD), a K-12 school district serving the contiguous communities of Durham, Lee and Madbury in New Hampshire, is deploying a unified wired and wireless access network based on Aruba’s Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture. The new network is enabling ORCSD to securely support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and to connect the district-owned mobile devices already deployed in its classrooms, expanding student access to online educational materials and resources.
Like many school districts, ORCSD has seen a growing number of its students bringing mobile devices into the classroom. The district viewed this trend as an opportunity to supplement district-owned mobile devices and move toward a 1:1 initiative, where every student has access to a mobile device for connecting with online information and data that reinforce and build upon classroom teachings.
“Our overall goal is to enhance student learning and enrich classroom lessons,” said Josh Olstad, IT Director for ORCSD. “Our students are already bringing multiple devices to school, so it makes sense for us to allow these devices to access the network and the valuable educational resources that reside on it. With the new Aruba infrastructure, we can allow students and teachers to connect securely with their personal or district-issued devices so they can obtain the information and tools they need.”
ORCSD’s prior network could not support the growing number of mobile devices that the district was encountering in its classrooms, nor was it able to deliver and manage the same levels of network access for both BYOD and district-provided devices that ORCSD wanted. After a thorough evaluation of vendor solutions available, ORCSD selected Aruba for the new unified access network. The school district then called upon New Hampshire-based Adaptive Communications to deploy the network, which is comprised of Aruba Instant controller-less access points (APs), the AirWave Network Management System, the ClearPass Access Management System and Aruba Mobility Access Switches.
The ease of deployment and simplified management that the Aruba Instant APs offered ORCSD were key factors in the district’s decision to choose Aruba. Aruba’s ClearPass solution, which allows ORCSD to ensure that each user on the network has the right access privileges based on who they are and what device they’re using, was another key reason the district selected Aruba.
“After our review process, it became clear that only Aruba could handle the wide range of mobile devices on our network including tablets, notebooks, netbooks and e-readers – and securely on-board these devices whether they were our own or brought into the schools by students, teachers or guests,” said Olstad. “With ClearPass, we can easily profile the devices and then give them the proper access. This saves us a significant amount of time and effort so we can focus on other important IT projects.”
In addition to the district’s IT department, ORCSD teachers are also enthusiastic about the improved network access and performance. “With the new Aruba infrastructure, my students can easily and reliably access the educational resources that I post, conduct thorough research and work online with the mobile devices we provide or those they bring from home,” said Amanda Zeller, a 7th Grade Language Arts teacher for Oyster River Middle School. “The new network opens up a wide range of online resources that I can use to enhance my teaching and improve my students’ educational experience.”