Viglen prepares Imberhorne for BYOD the new evolution in classroom learning
Imberhorne is a progressive school that has turned to Viglen to help it prepare for a rapidly changing academic environment where students increasingly use mobile devices to foster learning.
A successful wireless network upgrade has provided a cost effective yet scalable platform for the demands of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture and helped the IT department cope with increased bandwidth requirements. The long standing and trusted relationship with Viglen has helped the school stretch its tight budget without cutting corners as it prepares for the next phase of the project over 2013.
Although already boasting extensive computing support, Alex Melmoe, I.T. Manager for Imberhorne School is readily aware that the number of devices is likely to grow. “Staff and students have an expectation around connectivity,” he explains, “they ask: If I can do it at home, why can’t I do it at school? So we have seen a growing number of devices attach to our wireless network and over the next few years we expect that every person in the school will need internet and network resources from some form of mobile device.” With this trend in mind' Melmoe and his team have been methodically upgrading infrastructure to deal with growing demand from users across the school.
The first part of this task was to replace the ageing wireless network, a project that kicked off in 2012. “We currently have one access point per two classrooms but, as we move to an environment where we will ultimately have 30, or possibly 60 devices — if you include smartphones in each classroom, all potentially requiring Wi-Fi connectivity, the current access points and underlying network would simply not be up to the task.
We have had a long term relationship with Viglen so we explained to them what we needed to do — and they provided us with a number of alternatives and suggestions.”
Choosing HP for the wireless network as well as the wired will allow a centralised HP software platform to provide integrated management for the overall network, once the wired network is upgraded in the next phase of the project. Viglen helped in a number of ways during the project, on both a technical level and crucially around securing a deal that was significantly under budget but without cutting corners. The fact that Viglen didn’t force the school to take professional services is significant; instead Viglen took the time to understand what the school needed and how much of the project was willing and capable to be done by itself.
With a new financial year fast approaching, Melmoe is confident that the wireless portion of the project will be up and running and the summer holidays will allow his team to finally roll out the new network and the school is getting itself ready to meet its one device per child ethos.
“According to Ofcom, half of all UK teenagers now own smartphones and many more have access to their parent’s devices. It’s a technology that young people have adopted wholeheartedly and is a great way of extending learning inside and outside the classroom. I am very happy that we were able to help the school as it upgraded its wireless network to support its students in this way.”