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March 31st, 2010
Texas district streams video wirelessly on demand
Using SAFARI Montage and Motorola’s WLAN solution, Keller ISD gives students mobile access to visual learning tools
A Texas school system has set up a wireless network infrastructure that is capable of streaming high-quality video to students’ mobile devices—enabling true anytime, anywhere learning to occur with the help of visual media.
The Keller Independent School District recently began using a wireless video streaming solution that supports its effort to put mobile devices in the hands of every student. Using the Video-on-Demand (VOD) and Digital Media Management solution from SAFARI Montage, Keller ISD can stream rich digital content to students throughout the school district wirelessly, which enhances their overall learning experience, said Chief Technology Officer Joe Griffin.
“Our existing wired infrastructure limited where and how users could access the content,” he said. “We needed a cost-effective solution that could provide high-speed, district-wide coverage and ensure seamless delivery of multimedia content to students and teachers, while supporting our efforts to expand these capabilities to all classrooms.”
High-quality multimedia content requires high bandwidth to deliver the content to students through the web, generally causing VOD providers to recommend the content only be delivered over a wired network.
But Motorola’s Wireless LAN (WLAN) solution offers high-performance multimedia streaming through four key capabilities, according to the company: adaptive networking, superior video handling capabilities, high-power access points, and remote network troubleshooting.
To support the high-bandwidth requirements needed to distribute large, high-quality digital video files from the SAFARI Montage system, Keller ISD turned to Motorola’s 802.11n WLAN infrastructure and AirDefense’s wireless security and network assurance solutions.
Motorola’s 802.11n solution supports the SAFARI Montage Selective Video Streaming software and helps manage and ensure seamless delivery of live video streams to the classroom from cable TV, video cameras, and the internet.
“With our plan to move to a digital curriculum, it was crucial to have a reliable and easy-to-use wireless infrastructure in place that would support our one-to-one instructional objectives and enable visual teaching district-wide,” said James Veitenheimer, Keller ISD’s superintendent.
“We also needed a network that could work at a very high level and make it easy for students and teachers to use.”
One reason Keller ISD officials can rest assured that their wireless network will work as promised is the combination of security and advanced troubleshooting they get from AirDefense, which Motorola acquired in 2008.
The company’s Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS) provides Keller ISD with 24-7 wireless security and network monitoring, ensuring that hackers can’t access the sensitive personal information of students and faculty. An “Advanced Troubleshooting” module allows district IT staff to take a proactive approach to monitoring network performance; the technology reportedly can run a diagnostic test every morning before school starts to make sure each classroom has the capability to stream video reliably, without delays, so there are no surprises for the teachers or their students.
Because the AirDefense system remotely monitors and collects data from the wireless access points and allows for remote servicing as well, district IT staff can spend less time troubleshooting network problems in each building; instead, they can get issues resolved from a central location. Motorola says feedback from its customers suggests this capability can cut down on school site visits by IT staff up to 70 percent.