I came across an article today regarding wireless connectivity in schools. I wouldn’t usually post such articles here mainly because I tend to stick to gaming related issues or things that just need to be read, but since wireless in schools is my profession I felt I had a few things to talk about. I work for the University of Windsor installing and managing wireless access points to service the entire campus. Altogether we have over 1000 access points which makes this project rather large. Not only that but we are one of the first wireless Universities in Canada. Now this article debates the importance of wireless in the classroom. Over my work experience I have heard a lot of professors complain about the wireless connection, claiming students never pay attention and just surf the net. Well, coming from a professional point of view, I agree with them. Two main issues I want to point out however. Students do not go to post-secondary facilities to be baby sat, if they want to waste their time and money on the Internet and get bad grades because of it thats their decision. However, if their Internet usage inflicts other students (such as being loud or annoying with laptop sounds or talking about what they’re browsing) then I have no problem with professors kicking students out of class. Secondly, wireless access (right now) in highschool, is in my opinion, ridiculous I don’t think teenagers or those still in high school need wireless access 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and there’s no valid reason that the taxpayer should be subsidizing it.
Regardless of what schools decide all ports should be blocked except SSH and telnet. Of course any computer geek can go and create proxies but that requires skill and usually those with that sort of skill tend to keep quiet in class anyway. I personally have stopped bringing my tablet to class, because otherwise I find myself distracted and the Internet addiction takes over. It’s hard not to bring a laptop to class, however there is a marked improvement in academic performance which I can attribute to this decision.
All in all it’s totally up to the students discretion. If they want to surf the net, let them do it, but don’t let them ruin my education.