We were eligible for a substantial technology matching grant because we
were making improvements to our high school. We seized the opportunity
to go for two wireless carts of 24 iBooks and two airports each. In
addition, we got other Airports to service major "traffic" areas in the
building, such as the library, art room, and faculty room. A network
printer was purchased for each "core" classroom.
Previously we had numerous teachers who could never take their classes
to the lab because it was always booked with a class then. Even when it
was free, it was difficult to get the desired time period.
Now, a teacher signs out a cart with airports from the library for as
many days as they would like it. Or a teacher signs it out for 1st
period and then it is wheeled to another classroom for 2nd period. The
teachers have been trained to set up the airports or they have a
designated student assistant.
I have been amazed at how "booked" the carts have been. Every teacher
in the building has used it at least once. Many use it frequently.
In addition, students can check unassigned iBooks out from the library
during their academic lab and use them anywhere in the building within
range of an airport.
Problems: There was a learning curve with the airports. With a large
class the teacher had to make sure they had set up two airports. We
have found some areas of the building which must have metal in the
walls because we do not get good throughput there. The students have
to be attuned to the fact that they have to stay within range of an
airport and log out with in range. If the server is rebooted for one
reason or another, you may have to reset all your airports.
We have only been using this setup for about six months. So far the
Airports have been great. You want to make sure you set them up on
Concerns: In that they are much more portable, you have to be aware
that in a class for instance you will have less visible access as to
what the students are doing, such as e-mail or Internet access.
Comments: You can just go for a network printer which would travel with
a cart. This involves a little more set up and training. We had the
grant so we went for the ease of having one all set up in each room.
Overall comment: We are in an old building with flaky electricity and
the wireless setup has really enabled our teachers to use technology
with their classes. Students love the novelty and flexibility of the
wireless laptops and are initiating their use to present material in
English, Social Studies, Math and at academic fairs.
Time will tell, but right now the wireless setup is being embraced.
Wilmington Middle High School
Wilmington, VT 05363
On Thursday, April 15, 2004, at 01:10 PM, Joe Lemaire wrote:
> I was wondering how people are using wireless in schools. We are
> about maybe adding some wireless labs or something to that extent, and
> wanted to see what pros and cons other people have run into. Also, if
> are/have used it, what equipment would you recommend/not recommend?
> Joe Lemaire
> IT Technician
> St. Albans Town Educational Center