The entire world felt the devastation of the pandemic over the past year, but it has been especially problematic for students and educators. Much like the business world, schools have adopted cloud technologies to enable virtual classroom experiences and keep education on pace. As 2021 moves along, the public is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccinations and reduced infection rates are pointing the way back to normalcy. Many school systems have already returned to physical classrooms entirely, while others have moved from all virtual to hybrid models. Eventually they, too, will move back to full in-person learning.
That doesn’t mean investments in technology will be cast aside. Rather, school systems will now have access to their new technologies to support their teachers and students in their buildings. Teachers will continue to use many of their new applications and services and even introduce new ones as needs emerge. Like other verticals, education has gone digital out of necessity and it’s not going back.
So, the network infrastructure, management tools, and analytics capabilities to support virtual learning will be equally important as schools return to in-person learning. In fact, with all students in school at once, the strain on networks will be even greater, making network analytics a must-have feature.
With most students now using laptops, Chromebooks, or tablets, these devices can be used for safety and security purposes on school property. Network administrators can leverage wireless access points to determine when connected users step in or out of particular area, which is useful for monitoring restricted areas. Network analytics can monitor digital activities to ensure users aren’t breaking school policies regarding internet usage and applications.
Safety and security are always the top priority for any school, and advanced cloud services can support students and facilities as they make their way back to normal living. ExtremeCloud IQ can not only give any sized school the connectivity needed to run daily activities, but also gives administrators a new supply of digital tools to manage an entire student body with ease.
It’s also important to realize that, even as the pandemic subsides, the coronavirus will still be around – as will other viruses, including the common flu. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of public safety preparation. Schools and other institutions will use what they’ve learned to avoid a repeat of 2020. The contact tracing protocols that have been implemented need to be deployed quickly in the event of another outbreak of any sort. Cloud networking allows school administrators to rapidly implement those solutions and avoid massive spreading of any contagious illness, using connected devices to gain insights and communicate with students and staff.
In the event of an outbreak in a classroom or lunchroom, location tracking can help determine the source and prevent spreading. When a student or teacher is discovered to be ill, historical data can be pulled to learn about the movements of any connected users. This feature can also support capacity management, so networks can analyze student density in a particular areas. Having a network that supports this functionality gives administrators, teachers, parents, and students peace of mind that a safety plan is always in place.