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Maybe the point is about Community Access.
I know in the schools in the Northeast Kingdom—home access is a very real issue.
And not just for homes with children.

I believe that the intent is to provide a working document for All to use, not just the schools students/staff.
And just like converting closed schools to childcare centers is not limited to the students that normally attend, this for the greater community that may need Internet to better access resources that are starting to be more available online—WIC and other programs for example.

But yes, by all means, ensure the local network is safe—tunnel your open access directly out.

Just my perspective,
Jeff



On Mar 25, 2020, at 4:33 PM, Leslie, Ben <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


I agree with Bob, I’m not sure how effective this would be now that there is a stay at home order.  Our community is small and people already have access to our WiFi, either via chromebook management, or a private preshared key (1 client per key).  

I started to make an open WiFi network that uses social media accounts for authentication (user visibility) but it’s still not an encrypted connection. I haven’t deployed it because our administration says there isn’t need.

I’m not very keen on creating an open, unencrypted network no matter how well firewalled it is so I’m happy without creating more security issues 


Ben



On Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 4:13 PM Robert Wickberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
We were surveyed to see if we wanted to add our school to the map, we didn't because our students already know the wifi range extends a bit outside the building, so they can connect already.  We don't make wifi available to the general public,though.  Now that we're under a stay at home order, I'm not convinced that keeping up with one's schooling is a legitimate reason to venture out to the school's parking lot, either.
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Robert Wickberg
Technology Coordinator, BAMS, BUHS, and WRCC
802-451-3418



On Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 3:40 PM Craig Lyndes <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Schools are looking at ways to provide Internet at home for their students and staff.  In Vermont there are places where there is no way to connect and short of running fiber or building cell towers there are no options.

Thinking outside the box, something schools can do is offer WiFi in the parking lot.  

Sometimes it is as simple as walking around the building and identifying some parking spaces that get a strong enough signal.  The next step is letting people know they are welcome and identifying where a sufficient signal can be found. This would limit access to devices/accounts that you already allow on your network and people who you invite.

This is something you can do today that will help your students’ keep in touch and continue learning.

Maybe you have some parking spots that get a good signal and are near an outside outlet.  Could you offer people the outlet to plug in their devices so they aren’t limited to the battery life of their device?

What if you don’t have a good signal near the parking spots where you would like to offer access?  Do you have a window where you could place an access point that would cover the spots? The classrooms are empty and our networks are only lightly used so there may be resources we can repurpose for this emergency.

There may be situations where the students will be using devices that are not able to authenticate to the school’s internal network.  Is there a guest network? When you communicate to your community include information necessary to access your guest network. There should be plenty of bandwidth with the building(s) empty so make sure there is a usable amount of bandwidth so this will not be a frustrating experience for your school community.

Here is a map of WiFi access points throughout Vermont.


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every public school in Vermont were added to this map?  What a great learning resource for our communities.

Next; some thoughts on intentional public WiFi as a part of a school’s IT infrastructure.

Craig Lyndes

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Ben Leslie Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union 802-375-2589 802-375-6409

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