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Confidence in the classroom—when it comes to the network

By HP Networking customer Gregory J. Bell, Head of Technical Services, Ballarat Grammar, Australia

gjb.jpgIt doesn’t matter if your organization is a school, SMB or enterprise, one thing you all have in common is the need for a robust network where users can rely on getting the resources they need, when they need them.


Lesson learned: reliable network infrastructure is essential.

gjb.jpgWe’re lucky at Ballarat Grammar. If we have a problem with our network infrastructure, the school is unlikely to lose a deal, revenue or any students. However, if you’ve ever had the misfortune to hear a teacher share the frustrations of their lesson falling apart because of network issues and the students’ general descent into chaos, then you’ll understand that reliable network infrastructure is essential nonetheless.


The network is the backbone of confidence in a school’s ICT system. If the network can’t handle the pressure, then the end users lose confidence. While people may often question the need for ICT expenditure on school network infrastructure, it is for a very good reason. If our network can’t handle 1000 Wi-Fi enabled devices hitting live media simultaneously, then we’re doing a disservice to our teachers and students and there’s little point having the devices out there. In modern education, technology is an essential enabler, but if it’s not reliable then it can do more harm than good.


We support more than 1000 managed devices—and even more unmanaged—for staff and students on our wireless network. We need to have the capacity for these devices to access rich media and collaboration tools simultaneously.


Updating wireless, working with HP Networking Solution Architect

When we updated our wireless network to meet our requirements for teaching and learning, we worked with our local HP Networking Solution Architect to design a solution with dense wireless coverage for classrooms and open-learning spaces. This solution was built on a foundation of solid switching and high-speed fibre links. Engaging expert assistance for the wireless coverage was important and helped us avoid issues with overlapping channels, channel selection for certain devices and other tips to ensure reliable performance.

With strong network infrastructure our teachers and students can confidently engage with each other through OneNote collaboration, video conferencing, access to rich Web 2.0 tools and a vast array of other rich media. Currently our teachers are engaging students with local authors and guest coaches from the U.S. with video conferencing. It’s vital that students have ready access to these resources for our “no compromise teaching and learning” strategy.


While it’s easy to get caught up with exciting new technology, it’s important not to forget about your users. It’s vital to ensure that they have reliable access to the resources they need, when they need them, so they have confidence in the classroom.



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