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3 Trends in Classroom Technology That Impact School Bandwidth
With the explosion of classroom technology, IT directors and technology coaches are working to keep up with bandwidth demand and predict its growth from year to year. While every school is different in the kinds of technology it uses, understanding trends in classroom technology can help make bandwidth predictions more accurate so budgets and planning don’t fall short. Here are three important trends that could affect your school’s bandwidth demand.
A few years ago, classroom technology primarily came in the form of computer labs full of desktop computers or computer carts full of laptops that were shared between grade levels or among classes of students in a building. Now, more than half of all teachers report their students have one-to-one computing. Every student has a computer, and every computer is on the network. If your school decides to go one-to-one, your network will need to prepare for a significant increase in traffic.
Some schools have allowed students to bring their own personal devices, including laptops, cellphones, and tablets, and they have designed a special type of user agreement called a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. If your school adopts a BYOD policy, students using personal devices at school and using the school’s wi-fi network to access the internet need to be factored into your bandwidth calculations.
It wasn’t that long ago that parents were complaining about the weight of their children’s backpacks, but now most new textbooks can be found online. The shift to online textbooks usually occurs by subject area or by department as budget cycles occur and new instructional materials are approved. Staying tuned in to these changes is important for anticipating the demand that online textbook access will place on bandwidth.
These are just a few changes occurring in classroom technology that affect the amount of bandwidth needed. IT directors and technology coaches also need to factor in all of apps and online tools teachers are using in their instructional practices. There’s no doubt demand for bandwidth is going to increase, but staying tuned in to how teachers and students are using technology can help you plan effectively and meet the need.