Herschel Girls School gets wireless boost from Ruckus

Enhancing learning through technology

October 29, 2012

Enhancing learning through technology

Ruckus Wireless, in conjunction with 4th Dimension Technology, have completed the installation of a wireless infrastructure at Herschel Girls School, an independent Anglican school in Cape Town.

“Schools, colleges, and universities are all challenged to move up to higher-speed, more reliable Wi-Fi. They want strong security, killer coverage and connections that don’t drop. They also need Wi-Fi to go to places where no Ethernet cabling has gone before, such as common areas, temporary classrooms, on-campus housing, and every corner of the campus,” says Michael Fletcher, Sales Director for Ruckus Wireless sub-Saharan Africa. “This is exactly what Herschel Girls Schools was looking for – wireless access at selected indoor areas including the atrium, libraries, the boarding house, and administration offices of the senior and junior campuses.”

“Teachers and students have been using their own devices to access the internet at the school for several years. However, to stay at the forefront of educational requirements, we felt that Herschel Girls School would need to invest in the correct infrastructure to provide internet connectivity in the classrooms,” said Stuart Levey, IT director at Herschel Girls School.

Ruckus Wireless partner 4th Dimension Technology (4DT) was contracted to install a wireless infrastructure at the school campus. “We undertook not only an in depth site survey, but also performed a comprehensive proof of concept on site by placing Access Points at strategic locations across the campus to determine the wireless coverage given by each unit with a view to providing easy roaming between access points for staff and pupils,” says Ian Harrison, Business Development Manager at 4DT. “This was done to ensure that the client received a solution that not only matched, but exceeded his vision and expectations.”

Despite the layout of the buildings presenting a few challenges, the installation went smoothly and has allowed for easy connectivity for everyone on the premises. Approximately three weeks after installation, almost 40% of senior pupils are using the wireless service. Including teachers who are accessing the network, there are almost 400 devices connected at the school.

“The installation has improved the teaching process. While the wireless network is primarily used for internet access by pupils and staff it is also used to access files stored on the internal file system and allows the pupils to use network printers,” adds Fletcher. This means that students can work on their assignments and print them from anywhere on the campus. It also allows staff members to access internal management systems – streamlining processes all round.

“The Ruckus Wireless solution was not only cost-effective and easy to install and configure, but the central management capabilities and support functionality means we have a great platform for future expansion,” comments Levey.

While the school has only required nine Ruckus ZoneFlex 7341 single-band access points and one Ruckus ZoneFlex 7982 dual-band indoor AP, future upgrades to the network will be easy to make. The school is currently busy expanding its buildings which will form part of access area once completed.

Concludes Fletcher: “Technology is revolutionising the way pupils can learn at school. Wi-Fi is a much-needed component of this and will continue to play an important role in ensuring pupils and teachers stay connected in the digital age.”