School curriculum is changing! You used to have pencils, paper, chalkboards, and if you were lucky, an overhead projector. Now our children are using computers, iPads, or even learning from the comfort of their own home! The technology advances in the education field are amazing, but what does it mean for a school’s physical infrastructure? Are they prepared to handle all of these advanced digital materials and learning devices?
We all know that bandwidth requirements are ever-increasing, and if you work in the education field, how can you be prepared to future-proof your network? With many districts facing these same future-proofing issues, here are six strategies for school IT administrators to consider before embarking on any physical infrastructure technology improvement plan.
1. Leverage the infrastructure that you already have – Let’s not reinvent the wheel here. Take an honest look at what you have, what can stay and what absolutely has to be replaced or refreshed.
2. Listen to your end users – Understand what the staff and students in your school are looking for before implementing a system.
3. Upgrade as necessary – Consider present and future usage, it won’t help if you have the most up to date switching gear, but outdated cabling creating a bottleneck.
4. Use technologies that are flexible – You want to make sure that you are using cabling that can not only accommodate what you are running today, but 5-10 years down the road as well.
5. Wireless may be the way to go – More and more schools are using wireless devices, but you need to ensure you have the proper backbone cabling to support this technology if you are going to utilize it.
6. Whatever bandwidth and infrastructure you have, consider more – The issue of ever-increasing bandwidth will not be going away anytime soon. District IT managers need to think ahead when upgrading an infrastructure or planning renovations or new construction.
But it’s not enough for IT managers to think about the technology needs of today. Any installation must anticipate potential future technologies and the impacts on the infrastructure – and few IT managers have crystal balls at the ready. That’s why it’s critical to have a technology partner to help districts plan ahead. For more information on our education solutions, please visit us at www.panduit.com/education.