A study by the British Educational Supplier Association (Besa) has suggested that only 1 in 4 schools have sufficient Wi-Fi.
Valerie Thompson, of the E-Learning Foundation, expressed the importance of proficient wireless, ‘it’s vital to a 21st Century learning environment’. She argues that schools require fully accessible wireless if students are going to receive the benefits in all subjects.
600 state schools across England were surveyed by C3 Education, on behalf of Besa. Out of the 250 secondary schools surveyed only 22% had Wi-Fi in most, or all, classrooms, and of the 350 primary schools 28%.
These are worrying figures. Thompson argues that good wireless networks are essential if schools are to use digital technology to its full potential and transform education, technology, along with informed and enthusiastic teachers, could give pupils the freedom to learn ‘in the sports hall, the playground or over lunch’.
The government is already taking steps to update the teaching of computing in schools and Education Secretary, Michael Gove wants to get children learning basic computer code in primary school.
Sean Larner, of Wi-Fi provider Xirrus, said that coding is only part of what could be done with ‘robust Wi-Fi networks’.
Some schools have already embraced a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) initiative, or even invested in a device for each student. Now giving them the ability to download assignments, carry out research and ask questions of teachers, fellow pupils and even subject experts from outside school – but without adequate Wi-Fi the use of these devices is limited, says Mr Larner.
Larner also argues, ‘If we don’t take a long-term view and provide our kids with the right sort of online access there will be problem’.
21st Century learning needs smarter wireless technology.
Xirrus wireless will deliver better efficiencies and enhance a school’s learning and teaching experiences, engage and connect students and staff. Wireless isn’t a ‘nice to have’ anymore. Done right, it’s a strategic IT infrastructure advantage that accelerates learning and lets schools do more than ever before.
Your IT Works – your local Xirrus Wi-Fi technologist.
Source: BBC News