MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE ERA
Kingswood Primary School is one of Victoria’s most innovative primary school educators, adopting forward-thinking approaches to the implementation of information technology in the learning environment. The school worked closely with Broadband Solutions to implement an alternate internet solution that was capable of meeting the needs of students and teachers, while ensuring that Department of Education and Early Childhood Development safety requirements were not compromised.
A MODERN EDUCATOR
Kingswood Primary School is an engaging and caring education institution located in Melbourne’s Dingley Village. The school is an early adopter of technology based learning tools, having implemented both a staff based ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD), and an iPad program for the senior students. The latter provides each student with access to an iPad during certain classes to aid in the completion of their school work. Both programs have opened up whole new worlds of education opportunities and have been widely applauded by the schools community.
As more and more devices began to come online within the Kingswood School network, the school was faced with an increasing shortage of bandwidth. In many classes where iPads or laptops were being used, the internet would grind to a halt, limiting the ability of students and teachers to properly take advantage of the technology.
The slowdown was caused by bandwidth limitations on the Department of Education supplied network connection. Bandwidth for Victorian schools is controlled centrally by the Department and is supplied to individual schools based on the number of students enrolled. Due to large demands on the limited bandwidth available, certain sites, including Apple, Google and YouTube, are throttled to help the department allocated bandwidth evenly.
The throttling was causing major issues for both students and teachers. If for example, in the middle of a class, the iPads connected to Apple, to check for iOS updates, the class would come to a halt while the iPads tried to download information.
Aaron Cox, Kingswood Primary School’s ICT Coordinator said “We felt that the department’s dedicated pipe was not meeting the needs of our school.
As more and more devices were being added to our network, both in the school environment and through our BYOD programs, it was increasingly obvious that the Department connection wasn’t a suitable solution.”
Kingswood began the search for an alternate solution in 2012, initially approaching the Department of Education to see what could be done internally. Unfortunately, there was little aid available and Kingswood decided that the best way to look after the needs of their school community would be to seek out their own unique broadband solution. The proposed make-over was multi-faceted, requiring a complete reworking schools back bone infrastructure. After trawling through dozens of options, Kingswood found Broadband Solutions, a promising provider – unmatched on both proposal and price.
“We approached Broadband Solutions knowing that they had strong experience in the hospitality sector, a sector whose dynamic use of bandwidth mirrored our own,” said Aaron Cox.
“They came to us with a comprehensive plan that met all of our requirements, offering reliable high speed internet connection and a simple interface for its moderation.”
The resolution proposed by Broadband Solutions included the installation of a single fibre data connection, linked with a powerful manageable router. The solution would provide the school with speedy access to the sites they needed and a simple interface for the network manager to keep inappropriate websites away from students. The installation began in March of 2013, and was completed in May with a further bandwidth upgrade in November 2013.
Kingswood Primary School now boasts a fast and reliable internet connection that is more than capable of meeting the needs of staff and students. Staff and students use Google Drive as their main learning and work platform, cutting down on paper waste and opening up a huge array of new learning mechanisms. Since the fibre installation by Broadband Solutions, Kingswood Primary School has no congestion issues, even with several hundred devices going at once.
“We are extremely happy with our Broadband Solutions service and would recommend them to anyone looking for an additional pipe to run to their school. Any amount of research will have you coming to the same simple conclusion – that it is a no brainer decision to use Broadband Solutions,” said Mr. Cox.
“At the beginning of the engagement, the Department of Education frowned upon schools speaking to third parties about the installation of internet connections that bypassed the Department supplied service. We think the installation of this system has absolutely validated our decision to go ahead anyway – it’s far superior to what we had before and it’s proving to be an invaluable resource to our students.”
“We are now looking at ways to expand our iPad and technology programs to all areas of the school. It’s a very exciting time and we are eager to see how else we can help our students make the most of the technology out there.”
Broadband Solutions is increasingly focused on powering the education solutions of Australia. Their experience in the hospitality industry and with large corporations and SME’s, delivering tailored internet and communications solutions, has positioned them perfectly for the dynamic education industry.
The solution delivered to Kingswood Primary School was designed from the ground up to meet their unique requirements, backed up by locally-based, always-on customer support.
“Broadband Solutions really took the stress out of the whole process and allowed us to become more productive, more quickly. Their commitment to customer service is outstanding and we would recommend them with absolutely no reservations to anyone looking for the best value in broadband and telephony,” said Mr. Cox.
SOLUTIONS AT A GLANCE
- Dedicated fibre connection to school
- Managed router and network management interface
- Strict firewall
- Speedy connection to the Internet allowing students to make the most of their time with technology
- Provides the infrastructure to allow the rolling out of additional technology within the school
- Ensure a safe and secure environment for students using the Internet
- Comply with Department of Education requirements
- Integrate seamlessly with existing connections at the school
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