Rio Rancho Public Schools Makes the Transition to the Digital Classroom

By Mary Gabra-Tanious, Blog Contributor
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At Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, my job as the Sales Enablement manager allows me to understand how our networking solutions affect our customers in different markets.  It is also a great opportunity for me to share that journey with you and to hear your thoughts in my monthly blog series. To jumpstart the series, I thought I would share something close to home.  As a mom to a 6th grader that is learning in a digital classroom first hand, it is amazing how technology has impacted our children's education.

According to edTech Digest Digital Classrooms 2016 article by Dan Rivera, as workplaces rapidly become collaborative spaces, it is only natural that "K-12 schools are evolving to prepare students for these new workday requirements with collaborative classrooms and project-based learning". I mean, who would have thought a few years ago that classrooms would go all-digital?  Of course, some schools are adopting digital classrooms much faster than others and as classrooms evolve so must the network.

The overall experience for students and staff at schools today is very dependent on the school's network infrastructure and its ability to support the increased demands of mobility, online testing, and BYOD. Below is a recent case study on the positive experience and impact that Rio Rancho Public Schools had when they made the decision to streamline, secure Wi-Fi for their current and future classroom needs.

rio rancho.jpgRio Rancho Public Schools is a midsize district with 18,000 students, over 2,200 staff and more than 21 academic and administrative buildings that stretch over a few miles.Their existing network could not keep up with new technology requirements.  Teachers expected their classes to be impactful and wanted to deliver rich instructional videos seamlessly. They also wanted the ability to block inappropriate content, while prioritizing online testing and other critical learning applications. Students were also bringing their own devices and expecting to connect to the network and have a reliable and stable Wi-Fi experience.

Rio Rancho Public Schools network was strained. Upgrading only their Wi-Fi could not solve their problem. "We decided to seek a more robust infrastructure that would work consistently for us," says Scott Leppelman, Senior Network Engineer.  One of their key requirements, besides getting exceptional performance from the network, was to have an easy to use and centralized management platform. This is clearly where Aruba stood out from the competition.

The HP acquisition of Aruba couldn't have happened at a better time for Rio Rancho while they were making their decision. This sealed the deal for them. "We've looked at moving to Cisco, but there were no functionality benefits. With the HP acquisition of Aruba, we knew the future would bring various cool integrations to help wired and wireless work together even more fluidly," – says Leppelman.

The school deployed 802.11ac Aruba Instant APsAruba 5400 zl Switch SeriesAruba AirWave for Wi-Fi network management, HPE Intelligent Management Center (IMC) Software and Aruba ClearPass for secure network access. Some of the benefits they received are:

  • Pervasive 802.11ac-enabled Aruba Wi-Fi blanketing the 18,000+ student district
  • Zero-touch, controllerless solution for simplified architecture
  • With its ultra-lean IT staff, Rio Rancho appreciates the simplicity of Aruba Instant's zero-touch, self-provisioning capabilities, which are enhanced by the addition of AirWave's network management platform
  • Securely support BYOD with self-service onboarding & automated access rights
  • Integration and central administration of wireless and wired networks with the combined HPE and Aruba portfolio
  • Scalable to meet future instructional and operational needs

Their enhanced network has enabled them to seamlessly connect thousands of devices and continue to scale to meet new needs.  You can read more about Rio Rancho case study here.

Learn more about Aruba network solutions for Primary Education

Learn more about Rio Rancho Public Schools network deployment

Learn more about other Aruba customers success stories