University Pilot Program Explores Innovative Technology Integration
within the Education Curriculum to Enhance Student Learning
June 12, 2001 – Enterasys Networks™ today announces that Simon Fraser University, one of Canada’s top comprehensive universities, has selected Enterasys’ RoamAbout™ wireless solution as part of a new pilot program in their teacher education curriculum, reinforcing Enterasys’ aspiration to improve education through technology. Via a mobile lab of laptop computers on a portable trolley and various wireless workshops enabled by the award-winning RoamAbout technology, the pilot program aims to instruct and showcase innovative ways in which teachers can integrate technology in the classroom to enhance the learning environment.
“In a country with one of the highest levels of student access to the Internet, it is imperative that our teachers learn to use technology in ways that will enhance their course curriculum and engage student learning,” said Burkhard Kraas, supervisor of network operations for Simon Fraser University. “With Enterasys’ RoamAbout wireless access, we are able to showcase cutting-edge technology and deliver network access wherever the student is located, be it in the classroom, a hallway or out on the patio.”
The Learning Community Module within the Faculty of Education is preparing teachers to instruct students aged 11 and 14 years old and is the focus for the wireless pilot program. Wireless workshops are built into the teacher education curriculum, and are designed not only to teach the theory of utilising technology in the classroom, but also to demonstrate the advantages in a situated context. In addition, instructors within the program can reserve a mobile trolley with ten laptop computers wirelessly connected to the network for use in the classroom. The trolley travels from classroom to classroom providing access where and when it is needed.
“Integrating technology in the classroom is an important component of any teacher education program,” said Paul Johnston, regional vice president, Enterasys Networks, Canada. “Utilising Enterasys’ RoamAbout wireless technology, the Faculty of Education is able to provide mobile, secure network access. We are proud to work with Simon Fraser University as they explore innovative ways to take advantage of cutting-edge technology.”
Enterasys RoamAbout solution is perfectly attuned to education institutions, in the UK Enterasys is working with a number of schools, including Ninestiles in Birmingham. “All schools today have the same problem. How do they promote new forms of learning and improve access to technology for pupils? They have these challenges to face in buildings that could be many years old, geographically disparate, and with limited IT resources, with low ratios of PC's to pupils. Enterasys’ RoamAbout solution has enabled Ninestiles School to quickly and efficiently create IT classrooms, without the overhead of a PC per desktop or fixed wiring systems that take time to connect and cost money, both in terms of capital outlay and running and support costs. Enterasys wireless technology could be the future for all educational establishments, bringing the power of IT to every pupil.” said Vice President for UK & Ireland at Enterasys Networks, Stefan Michal.
Enterasys RoamAbout Access Points provide high-performance, 802.11b standard-based wireless connectivity within Simon Fraser University’s Educational Building. RoamAbout PC Cards seamlessly connect to different access points as the laptops “roam” throughout the building. In addition, the Faculty of Business has also set up Access Points for a small pilot in the Business School. Wireless PC cards have been given to select students who agree to report feedback on wireless access. The Centre for Educational Technology within Simon Fraser University is monitoring the success of the entire program and planning for its expansion in the Fall 2001 school year. Currently, the University is working to replace proprietary NetWave wireless access points in its Harbour Centre campus with the standards-based RoamAbout Access Point.
“The fact that the RoamAbout technology is 802.11b compliant is a big draw for us, especially as the pilot program continues to expand,” continued Kraas. “In addition, the power injection feature and site survey capabilities of the RoamAbout Access Point Manager software gives us a great deal of control and is extremely cost-effective.”
Aside from expanding their wireless pilot program, Simon Fraser University is currently migrating their network infrastructure from ATM to multiple trunked Fast Ethernet links utilising Enterasys’ award-winning X-Pedition™ switch routers and Matrix™ switches. Once their fiber-optic cabling implementation is completed, the University will upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet utilising Enterasys’ high-performance switching technology to support increased usage of high-bandwidth applications, such as video streaming. The University’s six network operations staff members utilise Enterasys NetSight™ management tools to manage the network, which provides access to more than 8,000 active ports and 23,000 users.
“Our intent is to ensure that we deliver the best possible network access to our students, enabling them with the tools they need to succeed here at Simon Fraser University and the hands-on experience that will serve them well in their future endeavors,” concluded Kraas.
About Enterasys Networks
Enterasys Networks is a new type of company that combines a single market focus with a strong technology heritage to provide communications infrastructures for enterprise-class customers. Enterasys' networking hardware and software offerings deliver the innovative security, availability and mobility solutions required by Global 2000 organizations coupled with the industry's strongest service and support. Based in Rochester, New Hampshire, Enterasys is backed by Silver Lake Partners and Cabletron Systems (NYSE: CS), and was named a “Company to Watch in 2001” by CIO Magazine. For more information, visit http://www.enterasys.com.
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