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Students will receive free wi-fi next year

By David Han
Published: June 2010

In an effort to allow students on to the wireless system, the administration and information technology staff has worked together over the past months to upgrade South’s wireless network. School-wide access in the library and similar common areas is expected to be available next year.

Three main wireless networks are used in the school: Teacher, Student, and Guest. Faculty has access to the Teacher network, student laptop carts are connected to the Student network, and distinguished guests like speakers are given access to the Guest network.

There currently exists no officially authorized way for students to access the wireless but each student would be given a username and password to log on with the new system.

Under the school-wide wireless system, students would have the same limitations as they would now, and despite available wireless, current regulations of electronic devices will remain the same regarding appropriate use.

“[Wireless] is not going to change our rules about what technology is acceptable in the classroom, Principal Joel Stembridge said. We are not suddenly going to allow students to use cell-phones or smart phones without more of a discussion.

The school does plan to monitor students use of the wireless on a case-by-case basis, according to Stembridge, and students should not expect privacy.

“If students are going to use [the wireless], students need to know it is a public system, he said.

The school-wide wireless hopes to offer students a more efficient method to complete schoolwork, according to Systems Specialist Greg Poulos.

Students would be able to use any services on the wireless, like printing, and online storages.

“South’s steps towards a more web based learning environment is part of a larger trend in education, Poulos said, “with the more frequent use of class websites and blogs.This is sort of where the whole education system is going, and we would like to be part of it, on the leading edge of it. We’re moving there. The move to wireless has environmental benefits, saving paper and money from printing costs, Poulos said.

In terms of education, the new wireless system could change current means of information storage.

“A kid, [who is] starting in middle school, saving their portfolio online, capturing their work whether it is writing or artwork, would benefit greatly, Poulos said.

“The ability for a student to go back and look at what you’ve done in year’s past and compare it to now is such a great help. It makes you as a student much more efficient.

A possible concern with the new wireless system is its bandwidth’s ability to support its users.

Poulos notes the importance of ensuring fast connection to potential users while still allowing ongoing operations such as attendance, grades, and communication to continue smoothly in the school.

“The ability for a student to go back and look at what you’ve done in year’s past and compare it to now is such a great help. It makes you as a student much more efficient.

A possible concern with the new wireless system is the systemís bandwidth to support its users.

Poulos notes the importance of ensuring fast connection to potential users while still allowing ongoing operations such as attendance, grades, and communication to continue smoothly in the school.

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