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Tyndale Christian School

  
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Challenges

  • Reliability paramount due to previous network lacking in performance
  • A small IT team of 2 staff meant simple, easy-to-use management was critical
  • 18 separate buildings over one large site
  • Multiple device management – including both laptops and personal devices
  • Large number of simultaneous users at any given time
  • Fluctuating number of users

Results

  • Improved network reliability exceeding expectations
  • Easy management solution for BYOD devices
  • Scalable solution meaning coverage and network access can easily be continuously rolled out at an affordable cost
  • Network stability which is capable of supporting small to large number of simultaneous users at any one time
  • Ongoing support and updates made easy with Aerohive’s Hive Manager

 

Reliable Aerohive Wi-Fi network at Tyndale Christian School makes 1-to-1 learning easy

About Tyndale Christian School

Tyndale Christian School is a co-educational school, providing a caring and comprehensive education for over 750 students. Tyndale values the unity of vision and lifestyle that a partnership between church, home and school offers students.

The school is equipped with facilities including playing fields and gymnasium, performing arts venues, trade training centre kitchens and technics workshops and specialist classrooms. A personal student laptop program operates in the Senior School, with teaching and learning areas technologically well-resourced.

The Challenge

Tyndale Christian School is moving towards a 1–to-1 learning program. In a 1-to-1 learning program, each learner has a portable digital device such as a notebook, tablet PC, netbook or other networked portable device that can connect each learner with their teacher or experts, giving them real-world contexts for learning, multimedia resources, software for learning and online tools and applications. With a connected mobile device, students can communicate with teachers and peers about learning activities. They can respond to and keep records of feedback, including multimedia records of their learning and assessment – and can access this at anytime within the school grounds.

With this in mind, Tyndale needed to replace their existing Wi-Fi solution which covered only 2 of their 18 buildings, and provided poor and unreliable coverage.

In addition, Tyndale needed a solution that would easily support the plethora of personal mobile devices used by both teachers and students. The potential complexity of needing to manage so many devices with only 2 ICT staff was critical.

Tyndale also needed to ensure scalability – as they were strongly committed to the 1-to-1 learning program, the school vision was that the Senior school would be 1-to-1 by 2014. The initial requirement was to replace the existing Wi-Fi solution that was under-performing, giving the Senior school network access from any building, closely followed by connecting the rest of the school.

John Hie, (Senior IT Technician) said “We needed to ensure we had a reliable technology partner that could deliver our growing vision of 1-to-1 learning. Our experience previously was of an unstable system that often went down. We needed to deliver a network that we were confident could support highly fluctuating numbers of users at any given time. Teachers are generally online all day, but students are often more unpredictable, they might be in Physical Ed where they don’t need any network access, then suddenly everyone’s at English and needing to be online at once”.

The Solution

John Hie underwent a vendor selection process, reviewing Hewlett Packard, Ruckus, Aruba and Aerohive.

Aerohive stood out as a solution that would do what was needed – using key criteria such as cost, scalability and ease-of-management, Tyndale Christian School felt comfortable Aerohive was the technology partner of choice. Working closely with Beachhead (a specialist IT consultancy delivering expertise in key areas in Education), initial implementation consisted of Aerohive AP120 Access Points to replace the existing coverage. The ease of scaling the solution meant that Tyndale Christian School could start off lightly with one AP120 to every two classrooms, and increase the number of access points in required areas (such as the library).

Reliability Exceeding Expectations

With the Aerohive Wi-Fi solution now up and running in a large part of the school, John Hie and his IT colleague have been really impressed with how reliable the wireless network is. In fact, the wireless network has never gone down.

And a bonus they didn’t expect to get is the simplicity and ease of ongoing management. Updates are really easy to do using the Aerohive HiveManager Online Network Management System – with only 2 IT staff this has been a huge time saver. The cloud-based solution with zero touch deployment means that Hie’s team of 2 can deploy and manage any additional access points and devices – all through the HiveManager. This has hugely reduced the complexity of managing the multitude of devices like laptops and personal devices that both teachers and pupils bring in.

And while the old system struggled to support the variation in the number of simultaneous users, with Aerohive Wi-Fi, users can reach up to 180 at any given time, as classes often require pupils to use online learning applications.

The whole experience with Aerohive has firmly cemented John Hie’s belief that he chose the right technology partner. Even the Aerohive licensing structure did everything they needed in terms of support. The simple licensing structure allows users to connect and move around at an affordable price with scalability options.

The Future

Tyndale Christian School are planning on increasing the number of Aerohive Access Points in the next year – as well as increasing density in the Senior part of the school, Tyndale wishes to continue the implementation of the 1-to-1 learning program so that the Junior school is supported.

Hie said “We are confident that the reliability of the Aerohive solution has had a positive effect in learning using ICT resources. We have moved closer to our goal of facilitating effective learning for our students”.