With dramatic increases in online learning and the use of online tools in schools across the country, it’s important to get the most out of your Wi-Fi service. Many students will get the majority of their Internet access through their school’s Wi-Fi network. School is the only place where many students will be able to access online learning tools. With the growing number of students accessing the Internet in schools from an increasing variety of devices, you’ll need to be sure your Wi-Fi network is meeting the demands of students, faculty, and other school staff. Following are a few tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your school’s Wi-Fi network.
Understand Your Application and Use Demands
Some tools will use more data than others. For example, in-browser apps will not require high data performance, while other applications will have high traffic demands that will result in delays if they are not met. To avoid disruptions to classroom learning, get to know the demands of the applications being used across the school. Do many classrooms use voice and video streaming in the classroom that requires headroom to avoid delays? This is a need that will grow and change over time, so stay familiar with the applications being used across the school and adjust use policies and your Wi-Fi network accordingly.
Use the Management Console
By staying on top of management using your Wi-Fi network’s wireless LAN management console, you can configure settings to meet your needs over time. You can use this tool to monitor network use in your school and identify any trends in use that will require changes to the network. You can even use artificial intelligence tools to monitor trends and ensure consistent productivity across the Wi-Fi network.
Capacity Over Coverage
A common mistake when making improvements to your Wi-Fi network is to consider the coverage, or access of each user, over the network capacity. By focusing on network capacity, you can ensure that your network is meeting your demand and traffic patterns while keeping classroom use productive and undisrupted. This is also an important use characteristic to keep an eye on because it will change over time–even throughout the year, as classrooms will use a variety of technological tools for many different purposes, all while relying on the Wi-Fi network.
Plan for Future Upgrades
It’s important to be forward-thinking when it comes to maximizing your school’s Wi-Fi network. Over time, access points will need to be added to improve network use and ensure the changing needs of students and faculty are met. It can save you money (and a headache) in the long run to plan for these upgrades so that capacity can be increased seamlessly in the future. Plus, upgrades are fairly simple to budget, as you can plan for an upgrade here or there over time to save money and continue maximizing your Wi-Fi network.
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