When considering the utilisation of Wi-Fi throughout a school for example, caution should be exercised when choosing hardware manufacturers. Although some re-sellers will bend over backwards to beat price – I categorically guarantee that the cheap price will only provide a network unfit for purpose. I become more and more frustrated when I see routers and access points deployed in schools which are designed for home domestic use. Try using more than 3 laptops simultaneously, and the hardware may as well join the floating cash on the first corridor.
In 5 years time, how many tablets, laptops, ipads, computers, phones, and printers around the school will require a Wi-Fi connection?
Standard procedure within education is to provide 3 quotations during the procurement process. In the case of installing Wi-Fi throughout a school (and ICT purchases in general), this procedure is more of a hindrance than a help. Having a basic understanding of relevant technologies is a much better use of time and resources, and will eventually provide a school with a more cost effective and long term provision of ICT.
I wouldn’t be so bold as to instruct a school on the reviewing of quotations for value for money. Nor would I ever suggest that the level of technical knowledge amongst educational ICT staff is inadequate. I would simply suggest more thorough consideration to the future longevity of ICT purchases within educational environments.
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