As technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous, traditionally low-tech industries are having to adopt more modern devices and systems. The education sector is slowly beginning to implement new technology to better serve students and teachers. Many school districts are realizing the benefits of Wi-Fi in classrooms, but there are still a whole host of schools that still rely on wired connections to access the Internet.
A school that uses a wired Internet connection provides a fundamentally different learning environment than those that offer wireless access. Wi-Fi gives students and teaches improved mobility and connectivity between campus buildings, increasing productivity and collaboration. Wireless is also a more cost-effective solution than traditional wired services.
Teachers find advantages with Wi-Fi
A recent Pew Research Center survey of more than 2,000 teachers in the Advanced Placement and National Writing Project programs found that digital technologies have had positive effects on their classrooms and helped them in teaching their middle and high school aged students. Of the teachers surveyed, 92 percent reported Internet access having a major impact on their ability to access content, resources and materials for their lesson plans. Wi-Fi opens up a vast number of learning opportunities for students and instructional ones for teachers.
The survey went on to show that 45 percent of students used e-readers to complete assignments in class and 43 percent used tablets for the same task. Both of these devices can only access the Internet through a Wi-Fi connection. A whole host of new technology is rendered useless by wired Internet, meaning schools without Wi-Fi are blocking students from accessing an entire generation of devices, most of which are easier for them to use than traditional computers.
One of the major benefits of Wi-Fi is the mobility it offers. Wired computers restrict Internet access to specific locations, like computer labs, that greatly reduce the ability for students and teachers to collaborate. Access to wireless Internet increases communication between everyone in an educational environment; student to student, student to teacher, teacher to teacher, etc. The Pew survey found that 69 percent of teachers experienced a major impact on their ability to share ideas with other teachers by utilizing the Internet, and that ability only increases with the mobility of Wi-Fi.