Insight Public Sector, a division of Insight Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: NSIT), a leading worldwide technology provider of hardware, software and service solutions for districts and schools across the U.S., has identified network readiness as one of the most critical issues facing school districts this back to school season. Insight has compiled five key issues to consider as technology places heavier demands on network infrastructure, based on Insight’s conversations with superintendents and technology leaders in school districts nationwide:
1. Brace for Bandwidth Pressure.
Many schools are beginning to realize that implementing technology in the classroom can take its toll on broadband Internet speeds. School districts are facing the reality of slow connections disrupting the classroom. Students may have difficulty logging on or get kicked off during their lessons because a school’s Internet connection does not have the capability to support the additional devices in the classroom.
2. Stress Test Your Wireless Network.
Find out how many students will use wireless devices for assessments and other classroom activities. School IT departments need to understand how many wireless devices can be active at one time in the classroom without overloading their wireless network. It is important for schools to look at the wireless standards, performance and capabilities of the devices that will be used in the classroom and then perform a wireless survey to ensure their existing wireless infrastructure can handle these demands.
3. To BYOD or Not to BYOD.
Letting students bring their own devices to the classroom for learning can save money, but can also create greater potential for security issues. School IT departments must learn how to deploy and manage applications on student-supplied devices, and develop plans around BYOD if devices will be involved in testing activities.
4. Manage Firewalls Carefully.
Firewalls are critical security devices, blocking hackers as well as harmful viruses and worms before they reach a computer. However, firewall configurations can interfere with activity between student devices and the network. It is important for IT departments to look at how the firewall is configured and make sure that it can be set up to meet specifications that make learning the primary goal in the classroom.
5. Be Proxy Smart.
Web proxies can interfere with activity between student devices and the network, especially in an assessment environment; school districts need to ensure that web proxies do not “time out” after test-taking connections that may last more than one hour.
“More devices and applications are entering classrooms every year, and schools must seriously consider their system bandwidth as the demands on their networks increase,” said Dave Cristal, vice president and general manager of Insight Public Sector. “As the back to school season nears, it’s important for school leaders, superintendents and IT departments to focus on network readiness so they can take the right steps to keep their schools up and running – and their students learning.”
Insight works hand-in-hand with school leaders to help them meet the demands of the evolving classroom IT ecosystem. As part of that effort, the company recently launched Insight ON: Education, a news and digital information resource to help the education community use technology to improve teaching and learning.
For more information on Insight, please visit http://www.insight.com or call 800-INSIGHT.
Insight Enterprises, Inc. is a leading technology provider of hardware, software and service solutions to business and government clients in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Insight is focused on helping organizations move technology goals forward in the areas of Office Productivity, Unified Communications and Collaboration, Mobility, Network and Security, Data Center and Virtualization, Data Protection and Cloud. Insight has sold over seven million business and public sector client cloud seats across the globe. With approximately 5,200 teammates worldwide, Insight is ranked No. 483 on the 2014 Fortune 500 and generated sales of $5.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2013. For more information, please call 1.800.INSIGHT (1.800.467.4448) in the United States or visit www.insight.com.