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Going Back to School Means Going Wireless


School Districts Around the Country Select Cisco Wireless Networking Solutions to Provide Students with Greater Access to Information

SAN JOSE, Calif., August 31, 2005 - As students begin their back-to-school pilgrimage, one thing stands out this year - the dramatic adoption of wireless networking technologies throughout large and small schools and school districts across the country. As evidence of this untethered trend in K-12 education, Cisco Systems® today announced several large-scale wireless local area network (WLAN) deployments spanning the nation from Broward County Public Schools, Florida to Kent School District, Washington State and points between, including Denver Public Schools, Colorado and the Pleasanton School District near San Francisco, California.

“Students are the immediate beneficiaries of this national trend of bringing wireless to the classroom and campus,” said Alan Cohen, senior director of marketing, Wireless Networking Business Unit, Cisco Systems. “As laptops and PDAs become critical elements of the K-12 student and teacher toolkit, wireless networks bridge the way a new generation of students gather information, communicate and collaborate unlike any class in time before it. Education is truly transforming into a connected learning environment.”

According to Market Data Retrieval in their 2004 Technology in Education report, the percentage of public schools utilizing wireless systems has increased almost fourfold from 10 percent in 2001 to 37 percent in 2004. That follows the continually rising trend of laptop penetration in schools, which as grown from 36 percent in 2003 to 53 percent in 2004.
Denver Public Schools

Over 100 years old, the Denver Public School system serves nearly 73,000 students. Currently, Cisco’s Unified Wireless Architecture is being deployed throughout all 140 schools and 10 administration buildings to provide students and teachers with a more efficient and productive way to learn and manage students’ education. For example, teachers can access and update student information and grades in real time, while students can connect to student services from any of the classrooms, courtyards and cafeterias. To help students adjust to the new year, school officials are equipped with WiFi-enabled PDAs to instantly verify student schedules, aiming to keep students on time and on track.

“Wireless is an every day tool for students today, and is an integral part of their daily life,” said Bud Bullard, director of information systems technology for the Denver Public Schools. “Today’s students are utilizing wireless technology to enable anytime, anywhere learning, while our administrators and teachers continue to find new and innovative ways to increase efficiencies while improving the student experience.”
Kent School District, Washington

Kent School District comprises more than 26,000 students, and is recognized in Washington State as the leading authority on unifying technology into the classroom. The District envisions that every one of their K-12 students will be wirelessly connected via laptop computers through their schools and to the rest of the world.

“Kent standardized on Cisco to unify the existing wired network with our new wireless network,” said Thuan Nguyen, project and technical systems manager at Kent School District. “Scalability and investment protection were two of the primary objectives that Cisco’s Unified Wireless Architecture serves. With this service, our students are prepared for tomorrow’s working environment.”
Pleasanton School District, California

Roughly 40 miles east of San Francisco and located in the heart of many emerging technology companies, Pleasanton Middle School is the first school in the district to deploy the Cisco Unified Wireless Architecture. With plans to equip students with laptop computers, Pleasanton Middle School standardized on Cisco to give its students real-time connectivity from all around its campus.

“As the pioneer school for our district, it was critical that our wireless infrastructure be robust, scalable and capable for generations of new students,” said Gary Hicklin, director of technology, Pleasanton Middle School. “Students and parents expect that the latest technologies from the home and office are going to be deployed in our schools. As we invest in technology, we increase the investments in our students.”

“Wireless devices have moved from a ’nice-to-have’ to a necessity in K-12 environments,” said Phylis Hawkins, education solutions manager for Cisco Systems. “They provide teachers with instant access to data that they need no matter where they are located on campus, and of course have changed the classroom dynamics and learning environment for students. Wireless has become an integral part of everyday life, both in and out of school.”

More information about Cisco’s education programs is available at and information about Cisco’s wireless solutions is available at

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