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PREPARE FOR THE NEXT-GEN CLASSROOM: As educational strategies evolve, so too must technology to support the new teaching styles.

As K-12 educators and classrooms continue their transformation to support the shift to mobile learning, education technologies must support these changes taking place inside and outside the classroom. "We're really starting to see a huge shift in education " says Dan Rivera, product marketing manager for K12 at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. "It's all about building a collaborative learning environment."

He sees today's educational transformation as an essential move from traditional classrooms with rows of desks and a teacher at the front. That style was intended to prepare workers for the sort of assembly line and structured office work of 50 years ago. Now there is a move underway to educating students in a way that prepares them for today's and tomorrow's workforce he says. "We're gradually shifting from standard classrooms to a more collaborative learning environment--an environment similar to the digital workplace that awaits students,'" he says.

Today's K-12 network must support the evolving roles of both teachers and students, says Rivera, by allowing new learning styles that focus on collaboration and group learning. These are the learning styles that will help students prepare for today's collaborative, open, technology-based workplace.

Open workspaces and true mobility within the classroom and on campus calls for always-on connections to facilitate collaboration between students, teachers, and devices. To help school districts prepare for connected, mobile classrooms, Rivera points out two unique features in the solutions from Aruba, an experienced vendor in the wired and wireless network space:

Smart networks: The K-12 networking environment is challenging, as students with many devices move from classroom to classroom all day and need high-quality, uninterrupted coverage throughout the day no matter where they're working and studying. As network traffic builds, Aruba's ClientMatch[R] software steps up, says Rivera. In traditional wireless environments, when a device is detected, it's connected to the first access point it encounters. As the device moves, it connects to a new access point when the original signal grows too weak. Instead of waiting for a failing signal, ClientMatch[R] proactively decides which access point the device should connect to next. It bases this access point mapping not only on signal strength, but also considers throughput, other users, and response speed.

Security: Security is particularly important as schools move more content onto the network and as networks grow ever more open. More than sixty percent of schools in the U.S. either completely or partially deliver services through the public cloud, says Rivera. This opens the network and raises risk; as do guest access and BYOD policies. Aruba ClearPass addresses those issues by offering secure network access control that can deter attacks, shut down illicit activity much more quickly when it happens, and provide insights into what occurred.

"Unfortunately," says Rivera, "it's going to take some high-profile security breaches at the K-12 level before school districts and school boards start to mandate some higher-level security within the school's network."

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Publication:T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2018
Words:486
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