June 26, 2015

K-12 School Districts Take Advantage of Network Analytics

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Schools Find Strong Value in Networking Infrastructure with Purview Analytics for Personalized Learning and BYOD

K12 E-rate

The concept of personalized learning acknowledges that all students learn differently. It is now possible to adapt teaching methods and pacing to individual students. Education technology has a strong role in enabling this and tracking the results. Analytics software like Extreme Network’s Purview provides insight into which technologies, devices, and software are being used most and which are generating the best results. Here is an illustration of the many ways network analytics helps improve education.

To support collaboration and personalized learning, the Stonington Public School District needed to meet the mobile needs of 3,000 users across six schools and seven buildings in Connecticut. The District selected Extreme Networks with Purview Analytics for its enterprise wireless network with BYOD and virtual desktop infrastructure. They now manage the entire infrastructure from a single screen.

According to Jason Jones, Director of Technology, Stonington Public Schools, “Thanks to Purview, the time for administering, troubleshooting, and managing the network environment has improved tenfold. The centralized management has saved us about 40 man hours per week in deploying clients and managing the network environment.”

Purview is a big help with ensuring that continuous bandwidth is provided for on-line assessments at Stonington. “Without this network, we would not be able to simultaneously test the number of students we need to. Our Extreme Networks infrastructure will allow us to test more students in a shorter window of time than we were able to before,” says Jones. Stonington participates in Connecticut Master Testing and the Smarter Balanced Common Core testing consortium. If an issue comes up during testing, the IT team will be able to quickly determine if the problem is with the network, a local server, the pipe to the Internet, or the remote server.

First thing in the morning the Stonington IT staff can glimpse what kind of day it is going to be based on how heavy the traffic is. According to Jones, Purview answers the question, “Are all eight lanes open on the freeway?” With the help of Purview, the team quickly diagnosed a Denial of Service attack right before the holidays. When a car hit telephone pole and knocked out service, Purview helped them stay on top of all issues.

At Hardin County School District in Kentucky, Extreme Networks provides the infrastructure and analytics technology to manage its network and gain insight into users’ applications and network behavior. With a BYOD initiative rolling out to their 16,000 users, providing easy network access to any mobile device was a necessity.

With Purview, Steve Boone, Hardin County’s Network Administrator and Computer Operations Manager, sees exactly what is going on throughout the network with just one window. If the Internet response seems slow, he can dig down to see if it is due to the network, a particular application, or unresponsiveness of the server at the other end.

Earlier this year, the University of Mount Union IT department received a call from student affairs asking for help locating a student who was at high risk as indicated by anonymous messages posted on Yik Yak social media. With help from the authorities, the IT department was able to get the external IP address from Yik Yak, whose policy is to disclose user account information in response to a verified emergency. Assistant Director of IT Dave Smith took the call and immediately pulled up the Purview network analytics window.

“It was a time sensitive situation,” said Dave, “so there was pressure getting a call at 10:30 at night with this circumstance… for me it was easy to go into Purview with the IP address and grab all of the information I needed including the access point they had recently connected to and what applications they were using. It was about a 30-35 minute turn around, including a little bit of extra research I could do just to make sure. I didn’t want to send student affairs in the wrong direction. It was nice to be able to send them to the right person at the right time.”

About The Contributor:
Bob NilssonDirector of Vertical Solutions Marketing

Bob Nilsson is the director of vertical solutions marketing at Extreme Networks. In this role, Mr. Nilsson leads the Extreme Networks strategy and programs for vertical markets including Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education, Federal Government, and Hospitality. He has over 30 years of experience in marketing IT systems to Global 1000 companies worldwide. Before joining Extreme Networks Bob was VP Marketing at Clear Methods. Prior to that Bob held senior marketing positions at Digital Equipment and HP. Bob holds an SB degree in EE from MIT and MBA from Columbia Business School.

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