Meru installs Wi-Fi at Brighton school to support one-to-one iPad project

1,700 pupils at Hove Park School in Brighton, UK, now have a Wi-Fi system capable of supporting high numbers of simultaneous iPad users in the classroom

Meru installs Wi-Fi at Brighton school to support one-to-one iPad project

Meru Networks has announced that Hove Park School in Brighton, East Sussex, UK, has deployed a Meru Education-grade (MEG) wireless solution to support Apple iPads given to each of its 1,700 students. 

The school also makes extensive use of iTunes U, in addition to Apple TV, which is supported using Meru Bonjour Service Control. Hove Park School joins more than 3,000 schools in the UK and Ireland currently using Meru MEG solutions.

"iPads have revolutionised the way we teach and the way students learn. There's a real sense nowadays that unless education environments move with the pace of change of technology, they will fall behind," said Niel McLeod, deputy head teacher and business manager at Hove Park School.

"Our device of choice is the iPad. With it, we have been able to dramatically increase the ability to access information, increase the range of tools and applications available and increase the amount of student collaboration with one another and with others beyond the walls of the school. We've effectively democratised the classroom!" said McLeod.

With its motto of 'Putting Achievement First,' the school is using mobile technology to completely transform learning and personalise the experience for both students and teachers. 

One of the top one per cent of the Department of Education's 'Most Improved' secondary schools in the UK, Hove Park introduced its 1:1 iPad Learning Transformation Project in April 2013 and is already seeing huge benefits in terms of student achievement, behaviour and perceptions of learning. 

Following the iPad implementation last year, the school is putting all standardised tests and assessments - part of its Hove Park Baccalaureate - into an iTunes U course, so they can be closely monitored by the school and parents.

Support for Apple Bonjour

All of the teachers and students at Hove Park School work with an iPad, while every classroom and learning space is equipped with Apple TV with use enabled by Meru Bonjour Service Control. 

Integrated with the Meru MobileFLEX architecture, Meru Bonjour Service Control helps ensure that transmitting devices and the displays connected to Apple TV units are appropriately coordinated on a per-classroom basis, to avoid interference and confusion. Meru's access points and controllers manage the service dynamically.

Meru claimed its solution provides consistently high performance at the school, which is housed in older buildings and located on a split site with buildings 1.5 miles apart. Hove Park selected Meru for its high-density capabilities, reliability and ease of installation following a formal tender process and consultation, through which the nearby Hampshire education authority awarded a Wi-Fi contract to Meru for 60 secondary schools.

"We did a lot of research into the different providers and their strengths and weaknesses and Meru came out on top as a reliable, easy to maintain, easy to install system - one that could cope with the density of usage that you get with classroom-based use," added McLeod.

"We were able to visit schools in our area and across the country that had developed one-to-one schemes or that were working with a high number of laptops and Meru was a very popular choice. We were confident that it was the right system and that's proved to be the case."

Meru's MEG wireless solution is designed to solve educational institutions' 1:1 computing and BYOD (bring your own device) issues and support their learning-essential applications. MEG starts with three simple steps:

  • On-board quickly with 1:1 and BYOD provisioning and secure wireless access mapped to IT policies.
  • Connect all 1:1 and BYOD devices reliably anywhere on campus.
  • Learn by deploying validated learning and teaching applications on 1:1 and BYOD devices over the MEG wireless solution.

Evidence based on the tracking of achievement data shows that the introduction of Hove Park's 1:1 iPad Learning Transformation Project has made a positive contribution to the school's work to eliminate the gap between the progress of economically disadvantaged students and their peers.

Since the introduction of iPads 1:1 the progress of students eligible for pupil premium funding has accelerated compared to the progress of the cohort as a whole.

Analysis of behaviour data at Hove Park has shown that the use of iPads has resulted in a significant decrease in sanctions across the school for the first two terms working 1:1 compared with the same period in 2012.

Most tellingly, the sanctions received by the pupil premium cohort of economically disadvantaged students has decreased at a faster rate over the same period.

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