John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School

Challenges

  • Reliability paramount due to previous network lacking in performance
  • A small IT team meant simple, easy-to-use management was critical
  • Dual Campus environment
  • Multiple device management to support BYOD policy – heavily skewed to Wi-Fi reliant iPads
  • Large number of simultaneous users at any given time all streaming HD video from multiple sources
  • Quickly fluctuating number of users
  • Limited timeframe to implement a new solution

Results

  • Easy manangement solution for BYOD
    devices
  • Scalable solution meaning coverage and network access can easily be rolled out at an affordable cost in line
    with allocated budgets
  • Network stability which is capable of supporting small to large number of simultaneous users at any one time
  • Ongoing support and updates made easy with the Aerohive HiveManager Network Management System
  • Improved network reliability exceeding expectations

Reliable Aerohive Wi-Fi network at John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School Makes 1-to-1 Learning Easy

About John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School

John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School is a co-educational Anglican community school in Western Australia, providing a quality educational experience for over 2000 Kindergarten – Year 12 students across two campuses.

The vision of John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School is to be a dynamic, Christian, educational community that offers a broad education of high quality to students from diverse backgrounds. Each student is encouraged to explore their spiritual, intellectual, social, physical and creative capacities.

The Challenge

Before coming on board Tom Dudek, Head of ICT and eLearning, spent a lot of time discussing the school’s clear vision for ICT with John Septimus Roe’s Principal, Mr. Matthew Hughes.

The school are implementing a BYOD policy that needs to support predominantly Wi-Fi reliant technology such as iPads. They are also moving towards a complete 1–to-1 learning program, whereby each student has their own device that can connect with their teacher, students or other experts so network reliability that supports a fluctuating number of users is crucial.

With this in mind, John Septimus Roe needed to replace their existing Wi-Fi solution which was less than reliable and had led to a total lack of confidence among the teaching staff.

Approaching the technology solution from a curriculum perspective rather than a standard IT perspective was also critical to Dudek, and he spent a lot of time researching the potential roadblocks to the teaching staff of John Septimus Roe and speaking with other schools to understand the challenges they had faced. “It was very important for us to spend time upfront speaking with other schools that had implemented iPad programs as they are very reliant on wireless technology and we wanted to get a clear understanding of the hardware requirements and potential issues.” Says Dudek.

“We needed to ensure we were working with a reliable technology company that could deliver our growing vision of 1-to-1 learning and support our BYOD policy. Our experience previously was of a less than reliable network that had caused us a lot of pain and had resulted in a total lack of confidence among the teaching staff.”

In addition, John Septimus Roe needed a solution that was easy to manage, maintain and upgrade when necessary particularly with the plethora of devices used by both teachers and students a BYOD policy leads to.

Solution

John Septimus Roe were seriously considering a xirrus solution and had even started a limited trial of their AP’s in some of their main trouble spots when they decided to take a fresh approach to their network design.

“Because we wanted to come at our network design from a curriculum point of view we were starting to see that the initial solutions we were investigating wouldn’t deliver what we needed in terms of a utopian level of access to end users. Teachers may need to have 30 different devices in a classroom streaming different HD video content through either YouTube or an internal server. We have a number of teachers that are very visionary with how they use technology which can put heavy reliance on seamless access. Network Reliability is critical as it’s hard to change teachers perspectives once they’ve had a bad experience.”

Having no internal technical capacity to fully review multiple solutions Dudek decided to engage XCy, a specialist partner in Western Australia for IT and communications projects and solutions, to help upfront and ensure they could implement the most successful long-term solution.

Aerohive stood out as a solution that would do what was needed – using key criteria such as reliability, scalability and ease-of-management, John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School felt comfortable Aerohive was the technology partner of choice. Working closely with XCy, initial implementation consisted of an Aerohive AP330 Access Point in 90% of the classrooms with an Aerohive AP170 Outdoor Access Point in the large Quad area.

The ease of scaling the solution meant that Dudek and his team could look at their long term budget and start off with full coverage in the critial areas with a plan to increase the number of access points and complete the project for the beginning of the 2014 school year. This approach, also allowed for the commencement of a small scale proof-of-concept project with 100 students, at the start of 2013 and allowed for the commencement of the BYOD programme for all year 7 and year 8 students in term 3, 2013.

Results

With the Aerohive Wi-Fi solution now up and running in a large part of the school, Tom Dudek and his ICT colleagues have been really impressed with how reliable the wireless network is. “Since implementing the solution we haven’t seen any issues and we had a lot of pain previously dealing with lost connectivity” says Dudek.

John Septimus Roe’s Network Administrator James Tuson agrees stating “We used to have multiple “No logon servers” and domain drop-offs every week. Sometimes entire classes would be unable to log on, getting “No logon servers available to service the request”. They would have to either wait 10 minutes, or log on one at a time. Often laptops would have to be removed and rejoined to the domain.

Since having the Aerohive system put in, the incident rate for the above has dropped about 99% for “No logon servers” and 100% for rejoin to the domain. This saves us a vast amount of time and stress, as well as the teachers and students.

Logon and startup times have improved as well. One of the biggest impacts however is now a whole class can watch a video or access a content heavy site simultaneously, whereas previously things used to slow down to a halt if this was attempted.”

The whole experience with Aerohive has firmly cemented Tom Dudeks belief that it was well worth spending the time and money up front to choose the right technology partner.

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