Aerohive Wireless has implemented its wireless networking solution over the past year to support increased demands for classroom digital learning throughout the Palm Beach County School District in Florida, USA
Established in 1909, the School District of Palm Beach County is the 11th largest in the nation and the fifth largest in the state of Florida with 185 schools and 13 ancillary facilities, serving more than 177,000 students.
As the largest employer in Palm Beach County, the school district has nearly 21,000 employees, including over 12,000 teachers, as well as 39,000 volunteers. The District has an IT team of over 160 employees, with a smaller team dedicated to network architecture.
The State of Florida mandated that all schools for grades K-12 change from paper textbooks to digital formats by the year 2015. This aggressive mandate required Palm Beach County to develop plans for a robust wireless network to support the increased demands for classroom digital learning.
Prior to Aerohive, the District’s existing Wi-Fi network was limited in scope and coverage, and had limitations in throughput. The network was a controller-based environment and the growing expenses were no longer feasible, as the District looked to provide comprehensive wireless coverage.
Palm Beach County School District sought a solution provider that could deliver a network to support a large number of devices, with frequent access to high definition audio and video and seamless scalability as the district expands its Wi-Fi activities.
After a rigorous evaluation process, the District selected Aerohive for its cost-effective network solution that met all of the district’s requirements. The controller-less design also meant the district could easily expand, without “over-building” the network infrastructure.
Aerohive’s wireless solution currently supports 125,000 devices on the network, with that number growing as the district continues its roll out of 1:1 learning programs. These devices are used for classroom e-learning and to access digital textbooks. The District has implemented over 13,000 Aerohive access points, both in schools and administrative locations.
Since deploying Aerohive with 100% campus coverage, the district has been able to improve learning and instruction for students, as well as create greater efficiency for administration and staff.
Aerohive’s wireless network solution has enabled Palm Beach County School District to conduct online testing in both individual classrooms and testing centres (including gymnasiums and cafeterias); to host large-scale conferences and seminars; has provided access to hundreds of Internet-based applications and e-learning tools; and has provided a strong foundation for the district to meet state requirements for digital textbooks by 2015.
Aerohive has also been key in blocking and limiting certain applications with its built-in application control and firewalling to help meet the conditions and requirements of the Child Internet Protection Act, a federal technology protection measure that requires K-12 schools to filter harmful content.
The company’s HiveManager Online NMS allows centralised management of the entire network for the district. This, combined with a fully distributed system has provided ease of use, robust remote management and zero-touch installation. Local control and network survivability were key for the district’s IT team, and Aerohive’s plug-and-play solution eliminated many issues previously encountered.
Palm Beach County School District’s IT team anticipates an influx of wireless devices, estimated to double and triple in the near future. Aerohive has provided a network architecture to meet performance and security demands, with enterprise features that allow the district to meet its goals for complete digital learning.
“Aerohive has provided a near flawless network that has opened up a lot of doors for us, from being able to host large events requiring enterprise-class Wi-Fi, to centralized network management to enable district-wide customization for users, and enterprise features to better monitor and control our network,” said the director of IT technical operations at Palm Beach County School District.
“Aerohive has provided outstanding resources to enable us to architect a network that is secure, resilient and can scale to meet our needs for today and into the future.”