GBHS institutes on-campus Wi-Fi

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GBHS institutes on-campus Wi-Fi

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The integration of technology into school has taken another step forward on the Granite  Bay High School campus over the past several months.

GBHS has instituted Wi-Fi on its campus in an attempt to allow internet access to a wide variety of electronic devices.

Wi-Fi is a wireless service that allows computers and other electronic devices to connect to the internet or communicate in a certain area.

The GBHS Wi-Fi was able to be implemented on campus due to a large donation from Cisco Networking, a company focused on networking and communication. The company donated much of the gear required for the system, thus reducing the cost required for installation .

The ability to quickly connect to websites such as Blackboard, Edmodo and Quizlet aims to supplement learning curriculum on campus.

“We play games using the internet like Kahoot.it and Soccertiv.com and sometimes I will have (the students) fill out google forms,” Spanish teacher Jennifer Hill said.

Hill’s class also uses the Chromebook carts on occasion. These laptops require the use of Wi-Fi in order to access the internet.

While not used everyday, Hill said the Wi-Fi is vital in using Chromebooks

  GBHS’s Wi-Fi allows for quick access to the internet with limited restricted sites and nearly covers the entirety of of the campus.

“Wi-Fi is so commonplace, I think it was only normal that schools would get it installed on every campus at some point,” Mike Fischer said over email.

According to a survey done by the Strategy Analytics, 25 percent of houses are equipped with Wi-Fi as of November 2014.

Fischer said he is hopeful that students will use the connection in order to perform a wider variety of actions helpful to learning.

“Hopefully (the Wi-Fi system will be used) for educational purposes, and not just to download the latest version of iOS for their phones.”

While there is not a way to police the network actively to ensure students are using the service in a correct manner, GBHS can restrict which websites may be visited.

The restrictions in place on the Wi-Fi are similar to the current restrictions for computers on campus. These restrictions are in accordance with  the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which was instituted in 2000.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website, California schools are required by law to “adopt a policy regarding Internet access by minors. ”

Schools must restrict access to any site that may be deemed unsafe or harmful for any student to visit.

“Last fall, when we first got the Chromebooks … the Wi-Fi was not that great,” Hill said “ but when we came back this term and started using them again … we don’t have problems.”

Students used to get kicked off of the Wi-Fi on a consistent basis and would use their phones instead.

Now, the internet connection has improved and the students can use it consistently.

Fischer said no further plans have been made to expand on the Wi-Fi system. Currently, the school plans on simply maintaining the system for the foreseeable future.

 

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