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Educators: Here Are Some of the Unexpected Benefits to Education of Network Analytics and Management Software

Bob Nilsson Published 2 Jul 2018

Did you know that network software can reduce vandalism, dynamically add bandwidth where and when it’s needed, insure high quality online testing experience, and cut down on expenses, especially costly EdTech license expenses? Here are real-life examples.

Catching Senior Pranksters at a High School

Early one morning a set of high school seniors decided to pull a senior prank by vandalizing the school’s halls. The students took pains to disguise themselves from security video cameras so they would not be identified.

Despite the students taking pains to conceal their facial identities, they entered the building with their cell phones in their pockets. Because these devices were registered on ExtremeControl, school authorities were able to quickly identify the students based on their devices and matched the timestamps of the device associations to timestamps on the security camera footage. When confronted with this strong evidence, the students admitted their roles in the caper.

Delivering High Bandwidth Exactly Where and When It’s Needed

A television production class takes place in rooms 210 and 211 from 10:00:AM until 11:30 AM of a west coast high school. Very high bandwidth is required at those times and in those rooms for uploading and downloading large video files. The students in the course also need higher speed access to more websites than most students for this same purpose. But overall bandwidth to the school district is limited by their broadband pipe speed.

The school district established a security group that includes the specific students enrolled in this product class within Active Directory. A policy was created to allow higher bandwidth and access to the additional websites that were necessary, with the web filter integration. This policy is now applied to those students in the security group that require advanced access. Voila! The magic happens as soon as the production class students walk into the room.

Insuring High Quality Testing Experience Without Shutting Down Guest Wireless Access

A school district in the Northwest tests 450 high school students on Tuesday through Friday. Unfortunately, in the past they had to close all labs, restrict laptops from being used, and shut down their guest wireless access, all to be certain that testing would not be interrupted. In other words, learning via technology came to a halt during this time, but this was necessary to ensure testing interruptions would not occur.

The district created prioritized traffic policies, so if every total bandwidth reaches a certain level, less-critical access is throttled back or terminated completely without any impact to the online testing and also without impact on instruction.

Finding Needed Bandwidth For Education Without Added Expense

Another US school suffered from inadequate bandwidth for student learning. During the mornings, bandwidth was so constrained that no learning could take place. The problem was so severe that theh superintendent and IT department were about to ask for more funding for additional Internet bandwidth. This would require taking funding away from other education projects. Just before they did that, they took a close look at the ExtremeAnalytics dashboard. They saw that their antiviral software was kicking in every morning and single-handedly robbing their bandwidth resources. By solving that, they were able to save the district enough budget dollars to be able to afford several major new learning tools.

Preventing Xboxes and Gaming Consoles From Depleting Bandwidth

An East Coast school district found that it was easy to identify Xbox and other game consoles and devices with on ExtremeControl to control when they are used or keep them off the network entirely. Some elementary and special education classes do use gaming consoles, so it is easy to permit their use in certain places and at certain times. But ExtremeControl leaves these decisions up to you.

Sharing Student Best Practices

A high school in Ohio was looking to provide guidance counselors with information to evaluate and provide insights to why some students were performing at lower levels than their peers. By entering individual student ID information into ExtremeAnalytics, guidance counselors can now get a report of application usage by the student throughout the day. They can evaluate the effects of students using educational applications or engaging in social media during the day.

Why Was Blackboard Classroom Not Being Providing Benefits?

A school district in Ohio had purchased Blackboard as their new learning management system. The principal at one of the buildings became concerned that the application was not be used as had been hoped, but could determine the root cause. Using ExtremeAnalytics, the principal was able to understand how Blackboard was used in her building throughout the day, which prompted additional training so that the staff could become more comfortable using the platform.

Optimizing Network Access and Bandwidth Control at Enfield, CT

With the ability to manage network access and bandwidth, Enfield is able to dedicate bandwidth to special events and make sure standardized testing and other educational initiatives have first priority. “Our Extreme Networks solution allows 1,800 students to be tested online within a given time frame, in classrooms of 300 students simultaneously tested throughout the day,” said Carl Merrick, network manager. “The emphasis at our new high school is on technology. With a STEM wing requiring dedicated wireless access and with 1,600 student iPads, a high-bandwidth network with proper bandwidth allocation is critical.”

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