An independent boarding school in Kent is taking interactive learning to new limits with its implementation of campus-wide streaming video and wireless access for students.
Sevenoaks School has deployed cutting-edge networking technology from 3Com for its innovative programme.
Streaming video is being used in lessons, while dorms have been fitted with wireless networks so that students can access services such as educational videos and online lectures.
A Switch 7700 core switch was put in last August, and wireless access points were piloted in two boarding houses. The network will be further expanded this summer, including the implementation of wireless access for a further four boarding houses.
Sue Coomber, IT resource manager at Sevenoaks School, said the network builds on the school's impressive use of computing in the classroom: it already has three open access computer labs as well as PCs in the library, dorms and individual departments.
"There's quite a lot of subject-specific software in use by teachers, such as Photoshop in the art department and data-logging equipment in the science department. We've also put interactive smart-boards in some of the classrooms," said Coomber.
So far the network is mainly being used to provide media on demand, but the school is assessing e-learning for interactive courseware. "Although teachers have shown more interest in using laptops with projectors to deliver their own PowerPoint lectures," Coomber added.
The school is also planning to use the network to reduce administrative costs by implementing Voice over IP.
But it's bad news for students hoping to download music and games, or look for illicit material late at night: filtering software from SurfControl has been put in place to stop any dubious downloads, and the wireless network is switched off at dorm lights-out (11.30pm).
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