Goddard Public Schools, located in Goddard, Kan., recently became an early adopter of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative, one of the first for a K-12 school district. The district installed Aruba Networks’ (News - Alert) Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture to create a unified wired and wireless access network as well as the company’s ClearPass Solutions for mobile device security.
The district’s goal is to offer a more technology-centered learning environment by integrating district-issued and personal mobile devices into the classroom. The school district, which has 765 faculty and staff members and 5,500 students, included BYOD as a key concept in the three-year plan it submitted to the state of Kansas.
“By introducing BYOD into our schools, we’re really experiencing a paradigm shift – almost a ‘flip the classroom’ scenario – that will transform the teaching and learning experience,” said Mitch Krueger, director of technology, Goddard Public Schools. “We are moving away from static labs towards a 1:1 environment with a hybrid of district-issued and personal mobile devices, and we’re encouraging teachers to share how they’ve used these devices, as well as specific applications, in the classroom. The new Aruba network has been critical to enabling this technology-centered learning environment.”
Goddard began a pilot deployment in April 2012. The initiative required a significant upgrade in equipment, and the district replaced its existing Cisco (News - Alert) wireless equipment with a new system that comprises Aruba AP-135 and AP-105 access points, mobility controllers, the AirWave Network Management System and ClearPass Access Management System.
Goddard also moved wireless from its Cisco switches at the access layer and added Aruba S2500 switches. The district plans to use Aruba’s AirGroup capability to allow classrooms to use AppleTV devices and Apple (News - Alert) AirPrint across the network.
The school system began integrating its district-owned devices in August 2013 by providing these devices with a secure log-in and certificate. When students arrive to school with personal devices, they simply use their Active Directory log-in to become part of the guest network.
The new WLAN currently supports 3,000 school-issued devices and 1,500 personal devices. The district expects the mix will change as more staff, faculty and students use their personal devices in the classrooms. At the high school and middle-school level, Goddard expects that about 75 percent of the devices connecting to the network will eventually be personal devices.
The new network covers the district’s twelve schools, five support and administrative buildings, a separate facility that educates at-risk students and the high schools’ gymnasiums, softball fields and football stadiums.
Goddard’s maintenance, building administration and district police department also use the network to monitor and secure the schools. On the maintenance side, personnel use iPads to connect to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system via the service and administer remotely. Building administrators and district police both have access to and can remotely monitor security cameras throughout the school buildings using their mobile devices.
The community of Goddard may extend wireless access to other key areas, such as the public library. “Our neighboring community could certainly benefit from the same type of BYOD program that we’ve enabled in our school district,” Krueger said. “If we can enable that kind of ‘right now’ access throughout the community, it’s a win for everyone.”
Edited by Alisen Downey