Far behind were the days when we only had the blackboard, textbooks and a few notebooks to learn. It is now when an almost infinite universe of options opens up to optimize learning. The key that gives you access to it is in the WiFi networks specialized for these educational environments. What will you find if you get them and what should you take into account to make the right investment?
The reality of digitization and connectivity in schools
Have you heard of the concept of “quantum leap” in terms of digitalization? This has been used to define the enormous progress in digital transformation that society has experienced in recent months as a result of the pandemic.
An acceleration that has even been quantified. According to McKinsey and KPMG, in this period of time we have evolved between 4 and 6 years in the adoption of digital skills.
All this has marked the society, especially the younger generations, who continually demonstrate an amazing ability to adapt to the new technological tools that are available to them.
If we mix all this in a shaker, we will become aware of how important it is for the education sector to unleash the full potential of digitalization. This is when it becomes essential to provide high-level WiFi connectivity in schools and other educational centers.
In fact, the Government of Spain itself has launched the “Escuelas Conectadas” (Connected Schools) initiative. Its mission is to provide the different centers with high-speed Internet access and high-capacity internal wireless networks.
Escuelas Conectadas was launched in 2015, with a budget of €269,670,000 co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Nowadays, more than 4 million students from 14,905 schools have benefited from this program.
What are the educational benefits of WiFi networks in schools and colleges?
Appropriate connectivity for the reality of schools and colleges has repercussions that go beyond what we might think at first. Let us comment on the most relevant ones.
From a purely educational perspective, the connection to the network allows access to a myriad of resources. This opens up a range of possibilities as opposed to the traditional teacher and textbooks.
This is a big step forward in the personalization of learning, one of the great educational challenges. Every student needs his or her own pace to assimilate knowledge, but it is impossible for the development of classes to be adapted to the needs of each individual.
Thanks to the WiFi connection in schools, centers and teachers can develop platforms focused on personalizing the education of each student, in addition to presenting them with huge amounts of external resources to help them learn better.
On the other hand, enjoying the Internet in the classroom is an important boost when carrying out collaborative work, reinforcing communication among students. For example, each one of them, from their tablet or PC, will be able to search for information to share later instead of all attending to the same book.
We must not forget how multimedia materials facilitate the assimilation of content. Through audiovisual resources it can be much easier to explain and understand ideas that may be complex for students. The Internet is a huge library of this type of material, so it is crucial to facilitate access to it.
For teachers, the Internet is a very practical tool when it comes to monitoring student progress. They can access their evaluations, assignments, exams and all the information they need from their device, anywhere and at any time thanks to cloud technology.
Moreover, if they decide to hold classes outdoors, as has become common in many centers as a result of the pandemic, a quality WiFi connection becomes vital.
To conclude this review of the advantages of having optimized WiFi networks in schools, we will appreciate its role as agents for reducing the digital gap. Ensuring that the youngest students acquire technological skills equally is very important to avoid inequalities that are very difficult to mitigate later on.
Why deploy high-end WiFi in schools versus other options?
Although all these benefits sound very interesting, to make them yours you have to overcome some clear challenges that we can solve from Galgus.
One of the first questions you will probably ask yourself is whether it is better to invest in wireless or wired networks. Although the final decision will depend on many factors, we can tell you that WiFi networks are accompanied by advantages such as saving on the purchase and installation of many meters of cable.
cables that can be damaging to the building structure, require ongoing maintenance and can be a risk to students if not properly deployed.
Once pointed this out, we must be clear that schools are environments with a high demand for connectivity. There is no point in investing in a WiFi infrastructure if it is not capable of withstanding and duly attending to multiple simultaneous requests. Requests that, on many occasions, will be about multimedia elements.
Moreover, there are many centers that, in addition to teaching activities, hold other types of events, such as plays, concerts, sporting events, etc. These are times when the demand for connections can also be very high.
We also face another key issue, which is student mobility. A smooth network connection must be guaranteed, even when mobile devices suffer from the transition between access points.
Of course, we must not leave aside such an important aspect as cybersecurity, especially when we are talking about underage students. Therefore, the school’s WiFi networks must have adequate protection measures against malicious attacks that compromise the privacy of members of the educational community and prevent actions such as the modification, theft or deletion of academic records, among others.
At Galgus we have the devices and software you need to break down these barriers and open the doors to a quality education that meets the demands of current levels of digitization. As a sample of this, you can take a look at our own success story.
Determined to build the digital school your students and teachers need? Contact our team, we are waiting for you!