School District Toronto

July 13, 2015
Carbondale Area School

Matt HamblenThe biggest school district in Canada is moving out a $14 million Wi-Fi network that holds a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) method for students.

The Wi-Fi rollout to 562 schools along with other structures in metropolitan Toronto, based mainly on 'cisco' gear and software, is anticipated to become complete the coming year and serve all 246Thousand students, plus staff. Many arrive every day with a minimum of two different computing products each.

Hardware of numerous shapes and sides - and running different OSes - including older Home windows laptops in addition to more recent Android, iOS and Home windows pills and mobile phones, routinely comes through school doorways,

"Technology plays a really critical role in meeting the requirements of present day students, and BYOD takes off, " Peter Singh, CTO for that Toronto District School Board, stated within an interview.

On a day, the 802.11 b and 802.11 n Wi-Fi network, now 80% complete, will handle 100Thousand connected customers concurrently, using the greatest load originating from iOS, he stated. The district places no limits on connections to streaming video services like Youtube, even though it does run software produced by Palo Alto Systems to trap pornography.

Toronto's attitude is the fact that permitting students to make use of their very own products because they want will enhance learning outdoors the class and improve student engagement with training. "Present day kindergartner will graduate in 2029 and can compete globally and requires to build up twenty-first century expertise, " Singh stated. "Modern pedagogy is intertwined with technology and technologies have a big impact.Inch

Once the district leased 18Thousand netbook computers for student use 3 years ago, scientists determined that student engagement using the curriculum elevated. "We feel when children are permitted to make use of their personal products their engagement will grow even while the level of traffic explodes, " Singh stated.

The district labored with lengthy-time partner 'cisco' to locate financial savings in creating and building the network. Over many years, Toronto needs in order to save about $400Thousand around the $14.4 million project by depending on new 'cisco' ONE Foundation for Wireless Software. It combines all the software licenses required for the work within single bill, rather than the older approach of purchasing elements a la carte.

'cisco' Wi-Fi access points, Cisco's Prime keeper and it is Identity Services Engine (ISE) are a part of the district rollout. Enterprise mobility keeper from AirWatch may also be used together with 'cisco'.

On the top from the $14 million Wi-Fi project, the district is midway finished hooking up its structures with 1Gbps fiber optic cable, a $60 million undertaking.

In continuing to move forward using the project, the district faced a few obstacles, Singh stated. One was requiring to limit the quantity of network traffic dedicated to the appropriate User Policy (AUP) needed every time a user drenched in. Initially, that AUP was over-loading the network.

Dealing with 'cisco', the district developed a method to limit the amount of occasions the AUP was exhibited on the user's screen by realizing a repeat user. Additionally, the district made the decision to produce a monthly cycle for that AUP, therefore it wasn't striking customers hard each time.

'cisco' has additionally been dealing with the district alternatively problem, which sometimes requires customers to authenticate themselves once they open another application. The issue of multiple log-inches is faced by many people organizations, and grew to become more pronounced once the district's students began using Chromebooks, he stated.

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