Providing Bandwidth

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In the previous two postings, I described trends that are occurring in education that schools should consider:  cloud computing and personal technologies.

When a school district decides to move its operations into the cloud and encourage students to take their personal computers to school, the district needs to open the flood gates for more bandwidth.  Students will need more and more access to the resources placed on the Internet.  Additional personal technologies will choke existing networks.

As this shift occurs, schools will become bandwidth providers, which means stronger network gear, more wireless access points, more wired ports, and a larger Internet connection.  Schools will refocus their financial and human resources toward bandwidth and away from buying, installing, supporting, and replacing local hardware toward network bandwidth.  Alternatively, 1,000 students with 3G connections on their cell phones have an aggregated bandwidth of 200 megabits per second.  Netbooks and other wi-fi devices need local connections.  Personal devices require more higher capacities on the network.

The bandwidth component is an essential link in refocusing technology implementations in schools after shifting resources to the cloud and opening schools to students’ personal technologies.