Saturday, November 15, 2008

Update on this wireless project and me!

It has been a long while since i posted to this blog.  The last 5 months have been hectic. We implemented a number of infrastructure changes to our district technology program. The fun of being a district technology coordinator is that you have to know how to do everything! That means countless hours of reading, implementing, failing, success, more failure and hopefully success! I can say that the last 5 months have been successful. Our infrastructure is up and running with many new features, increased speed and stability.

Although we have found success on the technical side, i have been mostly removed from the educational side of technology during this period. This is the area where my passion lies. I am forced to split my time between hardware and instruction. Hardware usually wins that battle!

I hope to be able to switch my focus to instruction for the rest of this year!

We did complete the wireless project. We now have a Merumanaged wireless network in our middle school using abgn access points. I am really impressed with the wireless N technology. We are averaging 130mbps on all AP's and in some cases we hit 270mbps. (need appropriate wifi drivers in place to achieve this. Most N laptops will require you to manually update to the new driver.)

The Meru technology uses a single channel architecture. IMAGINE THAT! you can just throw up AP's all over to deal with density issues! This is a dream come true for schools. They also utilize a technology called virtual cell. What that means is that you are not associated with a particular AP. You instead associate yourself with a SSID. This allows you to move seamlessly through a building without dropping connection.

After focusing on the technical aspects of this new project I have finally started to realize the educational impact. We have complete wireless coverage in our middle school that exceeds the speed of our wired connections (100mbps). We can stream video to each student laptop. We are flying around the internet. Our faculty is just starting to understand the potential. I look forward to utilizing this new technology with our faculty and students this year. I have so many ideas!