13-Nov-2018

Teaching is changing which means networks must change. Students and educators can succeed together in a connected and collaborative environment.

A connected campus is a thriving campus

Studies suggest that people are by nature, hard-wired to be connected and it’s clear that we’re now more connected than ever before. Through our phones, our computers, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT), we’re only a few clicks away from connecting with almost anyone at anytime. Creating connected collaborative, digital learning experiences in today’s higher education environments can be the difference between surviving and thriving.

A new collaborative way

Teachers today are upping their game with exciting ways of engaging students. Secure, reliable collaboration between faculty members and students is necessary to support these new teaching styles. If a professor wants to use video-based teaching to stream video to multiple devices, a WLAN network that supports multiple, high quality video streams will be required. HD-quality video streaming uses 4 Mb/s of bandwidth per user and interactive learning aids can require multi megabits of bandwidth per user, which means networks must be robust to deliver a quality video experience that keeps students engaged.

Students collaborating image for blog

As well as improving teaching methods, the network must create an environment for students to collaborate and thrive. Students are bringing every device imaginable to campus. Network administrators need to make these devices work together so that students can participate in study groups, share documents, and submit assignments online, all of which are vital to students’ success.  Here’s an example of what one community college is doing to make this work.

Michael is new on campus and he’s anxious about finding his way around campus and meeting new people. As he arrives on campus he receives a message inviting him to join Rainbow™. He doesn’t know what Rainbow is, and quite frankly he’s more concerned about just getting through the day. After a harried morning of classes, he takes a minute to catch-up on his missed messages. He notices the Rainbow invitation again. It’s from one of his morning class profs. He remembered reading about an AI-enabled chat app that the school had recently implemented. It was touted as a new exciting tool that would change the way students and teachers connect and collaborate. As he clicked to accept the invitation, what Michael didn’t realize was that Rainbow was about to change his college experience. The chat feature lets him see who’s online, both teachers and friends, and connect with them instantly. He can make a quick voice call, or set up a video call if needed, and can share documents in a study group, or even share his laptop screen with the Help Desk techs. Rainbow is now an integral part of Michael’s daily student life.

In addition to student collaboration, integrating unified communication features into existing systems and applications such as Student Information Systems (SIS), Learning Management Systems (LMS) or campus calendars is important and can provide a platform to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) into the network. Chatbots can provide the intelligence to answer students’ questions and can use location-based services to reserve rooms and locate resources. Open API’s allow the integration of collaborative tools into applications and services that can be deployed with existing SIS, LMS and ITSM systems.

Tools like Alcatel-Lucent Rainbow let teachers and students thrive in a collaborative digital environment.
Learn more about how the education sector and higher education are digitally transforming to create collaborative environments to help students succeed. Visit: https://www.al-enterprise.com/en/company/news/ale-expands-its-mobile-campus-solution

Tags - Digital Experience, Digital Collaboration, Digital Transformation

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About the author
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Greg Kovich

Global Sales Lead, Education Vertical

Greg Kovich leads global sales for ALE’s Education vertical.  Greg has overseen or created several Education solutions including “The Fundamentals of Communications” – a vendor neutral course on digital network communications; “Safe Campus” – a solution uniting emergency alerts with first responder collaboration and mass notification; “Secure Campus” – a solution that allows instructors to limit student network access to determined sites; and “Pandemic Education Continuity” – a solution that enables classroom instruction in the event the institution is closed due to health or environmental crisis. 

He is a 1992 graduate of Indiana University with over 20 yrs experience in Information Technology.

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