If you graduated from high school 25 years ago or more, chances are there were only a couple of computers in your school that students were allowed to see and use. What few computers your school had were likely locked safely
inside the school offices. This reflected the use of computers at home, with only the most affluent and tech-savvy households boasting their own personal computers.
What a difference a few years can make! Now computers are everywhere. You probably have a least one in your house, you even have one in your pocket (most smart phones are much more powerful than the old computers from years past). And in our schools, the role of technology in education has changed drastically.
Today’s schools are a vastly different picture of educational technology. The computers have escaped from the school office and are now in every classroom in abundance. Many schools now even offer some kind of “One to One” program where every student is given a laptop or tablet to use throughout the school year. Every student, in every class as young as first grade, now use technology every day in the process of their education.
In March, Illinois students will take the new PARCC test, and most of them will take it online. Online testing is another quickly expanding way in which education technology is changing the way things have always been done in our schools.
With all of this change comes much strain on school networks, and those who run them. Recent published reports show an increase in apprehension from school network administrators on how well online testing will go this year. Many school networks are simply not ready for this level of activity.
Giving every student a computer may seem like a great idea, but if the wireless network inside the school is not ready for all of those new users, the joy of the students over their new laptops or tables will quickly change to frustration when they try to use them.
The challenge is that the State will often issue guidelines and mandates regarding the use of technology without providing financial assistance or guidance related to making sure local school networks can meet the demands.
Northbridge Professional Technologies is proud to support the men and women who are working so hard every day in educational technology to make sure that the students in their schools and districts have, and can use, technology that will enhance their education. We provide that support in several key ways:
- Technology Planning – Working with network administrators to plan and predict future technology use, we assist with long term planning, making sure the network will be ready for new technology and increased demand.
- Network Health Assessment – Getting a handle on the health of the school network right now is key, but most school administrators are swamped with daily tasks and simply do not have the time to step back and assess the network. This key step is not only valuable in preparing for the future, but can also reveal issues that are causing current network problems.
- Installation Services – Whether running cable, or installing new network switches, or setting up new servers, Northbridge is partnering with school network administrators to take installation tasks off their hands and free their time for ever growing daily list of tasks.
We are proud of all hard working school network administrators everywhere, and especially proud to be a company that provides them with excellent support services.
If you are school network administrator, or you know one, please give us a call today at 618-565-0471 to see how Northbridge Professional Technologies can help make educational technology work for you today, and long into the future.