When some students in Long Hill Township, New Jersey return to school next week, both they and their teachers will have better internet access and phone service.
The Board of Education approved $208,000 in May to upgrade the wireless infrastructure for grades K-8 in the school district. Administrators also expect Long Hill to receive more than $40,000 in FCC E-Rate funding.
DynTek Services completed the wireless upgrade, which also included a new Voice over Internet Protocol phone system that’s expected to save $11,400 in maintenance costs and eliminate more than $4,000 a month, reports the New Jersey Hills Echoes-Sentinel.
Superintendent Edwin Acevedo says the upgrade will make life easier for both students and their teachers because now they can access the internet simultaneously. “This is huge for our district [because] in years past, we did not have the wireless access points or bandwidth to handle high volumes of internet traffic.”
The upgrade included replacing and upgrading wireless access points at three schools using Wave 2 technology “which ensures reliability and speed,” says Acevedo, who adds: “Additionally, we can increase our bandwidth from 75 Mbps to 300 Mbps” as needed.
Before the upgrade, teachers and students had limited WiFi access in each classroom, which made accessing a website or completing a project difficult, according to Acevedo.
Sheila Connelly, coordinator of Instructional Technology agrees. She applied for the E-rate grant. “It’s not that we are using technology all the time, but it’s there and it’s easy; you don’t have to go to a separate room and worry about having it scheduled. With the devices in the classroom it just makes it that much easier for the teachers and students to access and use resources.”
The upgrade is the result of the school district’s strategic plan and its “one-to-one” classroom technology initiative that will give each student a mobile device, reports the Echoes-Sentinel.
The district will add more than 120 Chromebooks for fifth graders, to be used like a notebook to complete assignments.
“Students will now receive instantaneous feedback from teachers and their peers, which will allow for greater communication and accuracy within a shorter period of time,” says Acevedo.