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The Aerohive Wi-Fi school solution

Aerohive

Everyone wants to get their information faster, and students and educators are no exception. With the help of Aerohive, schools around the country can accomplish this through the company's high speed Internet solutions. Aerohive's senior solutions marketing manager, Sreekanth Kannan, discusses how these technology solutions are helping change the way students learn.

What are the contributions that your company has made to the educational technology field in terms of the products and services that you provide?

Aerohive is an acknowledged visionary company providing cloud-enabled, controller-less Wi-Fi network infrastructure. We have demonstrated this visionary leadership through innovation in products and services that are unique and valuable to the educational technology field.

For example, Aerohive is the first vendor to integrate Apple TV with Bonjour Gateway into the Wi-Fi network solution to help teachers and students leverage a modern classroom digital display infrastructure. Aerohive also provides the TeacherView classroom monitoring application, which improves classroom efficiency by giving teachers simple tools to control classroom Wi-Fi access and view the resources students are accessing at a glance, empowering them to ensure students are on task with the lesson plan without walking up and down the aisles of the classroom. This is an essential capability for teachers in a connected classroom especially as 1:1 laptop programs within classrooms become increasingly popular.

Aerohive also provides secure guest access to provide secure connectivity for parents, visitors and other temporary users on school premises.

In addition to products and services, what, if any, other contributions has your company made in the edu-tech arena?

Aerohive as a company has taken the innovative approach to help those in the edu-tech space by providing solutions that have the lowest total cost of ownership to implement and manage. Along with a simplified architecture that greatly reduces overall Wi-Fi network complexity, Aerohive is ideal for schools since most must grapple with limited IT staff and budgets. This has enabled schools and higher education institutions to adopt Wi-Fi with a pay-as-you-grow model, enabling school administrators to buy and implement Wi-Fi on a limited budget without comprising enterprise-class features.

Several of the top 25 K-12 schools and the top 100 higher education institutions have come to leverage this unique Wi-Fi solution to fit their limited budgets, while leveraging the benefits of a mobile-first modern architecture.

How have your company's contributions made a difference in the educational technology field?

Aerohive's approach to the network access layer solution with Wi-Fi, routers, switches and advanced security has revolutionized the way those in edu-tech implement and adapt to the modern classrooms delivered via iPads, Androids and myriad of mobile tablet computers. By eliminating the need for the expensive and complex Wi-Fi controller-based solutions, Aerohive has liberated the education IT administrators from data center dependency, improved the reliability of campus infrastructure and increased IT agility to meet the demands of the mobile student and teacher community.

How have Aerohive's contributions made a difference in education and the learning outcomes of students?

In today's connected world, schools need to manage the influx of mobile devices and leverage the hi-tech, multimedia resources available to provide students with an enriched learning environment for the 21st century. Aerohive's cloud-enabled and mobile-first architecture has accelerated the adoption of modern mobile devices, cloud applications and advanced display techniques like Apple TV with Bonjour and Airplay. Aerohive has over 30 edu-tech public reference customers ranging from K-12 county schools to large university and community colleges.

One example is Chesterfield County Public Schools, which serves over 50,000 students and over 7,500 school administrators and has delivered 100 percent wireless coverage in all schools using the Aerohive solution. This wireless coverage has allowed the district to successfully implement computerized testing with mobile devices and students to use their personal devices for learning.

Another example is Tennessee Technological University, which serves over 10,000 students. With the Aerohive solution, it has been able to support the large student community with a reliable Wi-Fi network, enable an on-demand learning environment and support BYOD devices in the network -- boosting the overall productivity of students.

What are your opinions about the current state of educational technology?

Educational technology is undergoing a transformation with the advent of disruptive technologies like cloud computing (virtual desktop infrastructure, software as a service) and mobile computing. Additionally, faculty these days are opting for tablet computers over traditional Windows-based laptops. Distance learning, online testing, virtual classrooms and digital textbooks are also trends in the learning space. With limited budgets and IT manpower, so far those in education have done a commendable job in adopting these disruptive technologies for the benefit of the students and faculty without comprising control over the management and availability of the IT infrastructure.

What are the current challenges in the field?

The edu-tech field is challenged by tech-savvy students and faculty pampered by the consumer-grade mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, while IT struggles to support the disruptive technology trends with limited or shrinking budgets. A nirvana solution for edu-tech is a low total cost solution without the deployment and management complexities of traditional Wi-Fi access network solutions.

How do these challenges affect the education system and student learning?

If left unaddressed, these challenges prevent students and teachers from leveraging the productivity benefits of disruptive technologies like cloud or mobile computing, while IT struggles to control costs with increasing the risk of security breaches and downtime to the network due to single-points of failure. Overall, these challenges can lead to a dissatisfied user community and burnt-out IT employees.

What trends have you observed in the educational technology field?

Some of the trends in education technology today include cloud computing, mobile computing with more students and faculty opting for tablet computers over traditional laptops, distance learning, online testing, virtual classrooms and digital textbooks.

How will those trends affect education as a whole?

As a whole, these trends will catapult the education industry from a traditional, campus-bound, paper-pen-pencil based learning industry into an all digital, media-rich, ubiquitous and modern industry.

What are some important historical milestones in education technology?

I think the important milestones in education technology are:

  1. The ongoing influx of a millennial generation, or "millennial boom," conditioned by digital content
  2. The widespread adoption of Microsoft Windows in the nineties with educational software support like Microsoft Word
  3. The birth of the Internet in the universities for knowledge sharing
  4. E-mail as a form of communication to replace paper memos

How did these milestones affect education and student learning?

These historical milestones modernized and helped education leapfrog in terms of productivity and innovation.

What do you think will happen in the educational technology field in the future?

I see online classrooms, quality content available on-demand universally around the globe, 100 percent digitization and integration of student learning, and voice/video integration for virtual classrooms.

How will these future trends affect education as a whole?

These future trends will replace brick and mortar campuses with virtual campuses, collaboration will be rich through integrated voice and video on all devices, digital textbooks and course content will replace paper books and journals, and online testing will be the only method of testing.

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