Universities Delivering Anytime, Anywhere Network Access
Higher Education Institutions Around the Country Select Cisco Wireless Networking Solutions to Provide Students, Faculty with Untethered Access to Information
SAN JOSE, Calif., November 17, 2005 - Illustrating the growing wireless trend in higher education, Cisco Systems® today announced large-scale wireless local area network (WLAN) deployments at Purdue University, University of Wisconsin, and William & Mary College.
Colleges and universities continue to embrace broad-based wireless networks across campuses for the benefit of their own faculty, staff, students and guests. To enable educators to more easily meet the growing demands for ’campuses without walls’, Cisco recently announced Cisco Connected Learning, a three-step blueprint that helps higher education institutions transition their college or university to a student-centered, globally-aware 21st century learning environment. Additional examples of schools that are transitioning to Connected Learning campuses by integrating wireless into their teaching, learning and administrative environments include Prairie View A&M University, Duke University, and Wake Forest University.
“Wireless networking on college campuses promotes efficient use of time and resources, and increases real-time communication between professors and students, and among student groups,” said Alan Cohen, senior director of marketing, Wireless Networking Business Unit, Cisco Systems. “College students are increasingly using their notebook computers and handheld devices to access a range of information from their student records to web-based collaborative group projects and course content. Cisco is seeing broad based deployments in colleges and universities of all sizes.”
Located in West Lafayette Indiana, Purdue University has implemented a plan to make wireless network access broadly available on campus to students and faculty. With more than 38,000 students, most using Wireless LAN-enabled notebook computers, and schools and departments on campus setting up their own mini wireless networks, Purdue saw a clear need for a university-wide wireless network that provided a common security model and was centrally managed. Information Technology at Purdue created a campus-wide wireless network called Purdue Air Link (PAL) based on Cisco wireless networking equipment. The wireless network enables all Purdue faculty, staff, and students to access all Web-based resources, including course materials, throughout the campus without hard-wired connections.
“Our philosophy with PAL was to make educational and research materials available anytime, anywhere from any wirelessly-enabled device,” said James Bottum, vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer (CIO) at Purdue. “Cisco provided an upgradeable wireless solution that was also attractive economically. The solution has proven to be a wise decision as we have upgraded PAL to accommodate the new technologies coming out, as well as serving the legacy technology standards.”
Purdue has deployed nearly 1,300 Cisco Aironet 1200 Access Points in all 140 buildings across campus, including high-traffic student areas, such as residence halls, main libraries, and public buildings, including the Purdue Memorial Union, as well as in classrooms, and public administrative buildings. More than 20,000 students bring wireless devices to campus, and tens of thousands of unique visitors are logging onto the wireless network. Users must be authenticated to establish a highly secure network connection by entering a personalized account login and password.
In common meeting locations such as in the Purdue Memorial Union, students can use their wireless computers to access educational materials and software applications from a remote server. Students meeting to coordinate a group presentation can use their laptops to work simultaneously on their assigned sections. Faculty is finding the wireless network helps enhance their productivity by using a laptop to continue work on projects between meetings or classes without returning to the office.
In addition, Purdue University has extended its wireless network to the Ross-Ade Stadium where spectators and media covering sporting events can access electronic “infotainment” on demand using wireless devices, including up-to-the-minute statistics, player and coach biographies, games scores and instant video replays.
University of Wisconsin - Madison
The University of Wisconsin serves a large and diverse constituency comprising 41,500 students, 3,800 faculty and approximately 7,500 staff. The campus includes more than 180 buildings spread across 933 acres. The University Division of Information Technology (DoIT), began deploying wireless networks on campus earlier this year to provide ubiquitous coverage across the campus.
“Before we started our wireless initiative, wireless was happening anyway in a haphazard way across campus,” said Annie Stunden, CIO at the University of Wisconsin. “The DoIT initiative using Cisco wireless access points will deliver near ubiquitous wireless coverage over the entire campus and will replace the smaller, departmental wireless networks with a centrally supported, highly secure, wireless network. Cisco’s wireless infrastructure is enabling us to enhance the educational experience on campus and offer wireless access to guests that visit the campus.”
With plans to deploy 2,200 Cisco Aironet Access Points (APs) within the next nine months, the University has begun deployment of the Cisco Aironet® 1200 Series APs in public areas -- libraries, student union, public meeting places -- and other buildings across campus, and has installed approximately 400 to date. DoIT estimates that about 30 percent of the University faculty and staff and 40 percent of the students already use the wireless network and the numbers are growing.
For students, the wireless network enables them to access from any location at any time, all the network services, including connecting to the university portal where students can access a personalized window of their financial records, course schedules, email and calendar. For faculty and students, they gain anytime, anywhere access to online calendaring, email and the ability to post and access class curriculum and syllabuses using Learn@UW, the University’s course management system.
College of William and Mary
As America’s second oldest college, William and Mary, is also ranked as the best small public university in the nation. With more than 80 percent of incoming freshmen bringing notebook computers, and a university initiative to require all students to use notebook computers, wireless networking has emerged as a high priority imperative for the College.
William and Mary is deploying approximately 1,000 Cisco Aironet® 1000 Series lightweight access points across campus, including residence halls, where 4,500 undergraduate students live, and in all educational buildings. The rollout of the wireless network is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.
“Our teaching process will always be grounded in personal, face to face interaction between faculty and students,” said Courtney Carpenter, CIO at the College of William and Mary. “However, the combination of a highly secure wireless network and our forthcoming requirement that all students use a notebook computer, will improve the efficiency of administrative processes, and augment and enhance the educational experience. We are even providing grants to professors to explore how to integrate wireless notebook computers as part of specific class curricula.”
Using the wireless network, students have convenient access to a college portal, called myWM, where they can register for classes, apply for financial aid, and access university email. Students can also use the university learning management system to gain access to class syllabi, lecture materials, and communicate with classmates and professors.
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