Google's Chromebooks have made great strides since their initial announcement in 2011. The concept of a lightweight computer designed around running only Chrome OS was something fairly new back then, but it was a gamble that's worked fairly well for Google. Chromebooks have seen great success in both consumer and business applications, as well as educational ones.
The concept of a Google Classroom is of a classroom dominated by Google and its various platforms- Chrome, Android, etc. According to a market share survey done in 2013, the Google Classroom is a reality for 20% of K-12 Schools, in comparison to Windows' 28% and the iPad's 43% lead. The Chromebook has only become more powerful since then. In 2014, New York City adopted Chromebook machines for all of its schools. These are just some examples among money of Google's ever-expanding classroom dominance.
But Google's fever dream of a world of web-connected devices isn't possible without the hardware to make it happen. Wi-Fi in schools and education is a topic full of confusing myths that can be hard to navigate. The ideal conditions that school Wi-Fi should have in these environments include the following:
- Predictable, reliable connectivity.
- Powerful APs with large capacity- since whole classrooms, and neighboring classrooms, will both be using the device.
- Classroom-friendly features that make using things like Chromecast easy to use in the classroom.
Fulfilling these conditions requires wise investments in a WLAN network and its hardware. A recommended hardware partner is Ruckus Wireless- their routers have technologies like BeamFlex, which make managing a large amount of clients much easier, in addition to benefits like better PoE (Power over Ethernet) management and a stronger signal than most other commercial-grade routers.
The future of networking- and, therefore, classroom Wi-Fi management- can be found in 802.11ac. While client devices haven't yet caught up to this standard, new releases over the next few years will begin following suit, especially Chromebooks and Android devices. It's smart for schools to invest in hardware that supports these technologies for future-proofing, as well as performance benefits.
We recommend Ruckus Wireless hardware in order to enjoy these benefits and enable higher capacity Wi-Fi for you and your school. There's a large number of extra features and benefits that can be enjoyed with the latest Wi-Fi hardware. If you're interested in learning more about how Ruckus Wireless APs can benefit the classroom, head here to get a free whitepaper, as well as come to our Apps Admin Happy Hour.