Wellington College BYOD & Wireless Implementation

Who was involved?
Wellington College

What did they do?
Implemented a new Ruckus Wireless system across the Wellington College Campus for Students and Staff to be able to Bring Their Own Devices (BYOD).

The scope of this project included the following elements

  • Indoor and outdoor access to wireless
    • The outdoor system had to include the school fields so that staff out on the sports fields could take attendance
    • The Music Department needed the area outside their building to have good coverage to help with the “blended learning” classes they have in their department.
  • The system had to be able to cope with up to 5000 devices
    • We foresee that with 1800 people on site there would be need to have people have more than two wireless devices each in the coming year or two
  • We needed a system that gave our students the access they need to the internet for classroom work, but for their access not to inhibit the Teaching staff’s access

How have the teachers and students benefitted?
We put the new system in for the start of Term 3.  We wanted to be able to resolve any issues the system might have before the start of a new year in 2013.
Teachers

  • We noted straight away that staff were bringing in more devices to use in the classroom.  Those staff who had their own tablets were using them in class to see how different apps helped them and their students
  • More staff used their smartphones on the school wireless, which gave them the added advantage of having quick access if they needed it
  • Staff were more open to having students in the classroom using their own devices.  We believe in the long term this will negate the need for so many computer labs at Wellington College

Students

  • Students now have the ability to bring the device they best learn with to school and have increased access to the collaborative tools they need for their learning styles.  Wellington College is a Google Applications school, this means that the majority of the tools and work students need access to are all available to them anytime they have an internet connection.  They have the ability to share their files with their teachers and fellow students.
  • Students have enjoyed the access to wireless while outside the classroom.  We often see students out on benches in the sun or in quiet areas outside doing research, or finishing off that last bit of homework before class.  It has also meant that we no longer need to provided computer labs during breaks to students. (We still have a group of PCs in the library that students can use if they don’t have their own devices.)

How did being a part of The Wellington Loop community help?
Wellington College has been able to see and experience what other loop schools have done when they went with their BYOD models.

The Ruckus product was chosen for several reasons, but one of the reasons was that at least five other Loop schools were also using the Ruckus system.  This means there is good support across the schools with any issues that might arise.  The ICT technicians can collaborate when implementing solutions on installation, administration and reporting of their Ruckus system.

How did being connected to The Wellington Loop fibre internet help?
Having a reliable fibre connection to the internet, with good bandwidth, enabled us to complete and implement this solution with confidence.  We would not have looked at putting a system in as big as this if we didn’t feel there was the reliability and support from The Wellington Loop behind it.


Future focus in this area?
From 2013 the focus of our work needs to switch to developing the capacity of staff and students to use the infrastructure that is in place.  We are also working with others on The Wellington Loop on a collaborative Digital Citizenship initiative to help students with the safe use of technology in their learning.

Author Details:
Helen Jones
ICT Services Manager Wellington College